Some of you might already know the historical information in this article and it might seem repetitive. However, my hope is that you will see how this historical information provides context to the tithing laws and paints a clearer picture of how tithing was to be carried out during the Old Covenant.
According to Scripture, the tithe had to come from the land of Israel, so we will begin there.
In Genesis 12:1-3, God called Abraham out of his native country “to a land” that He would show him. This land was the land of Israel.
Just a few verses down in Genesis 12:7, the Lord told Abraham that He would give this promised land to his descendants. These descendants were the Twelve Tribes of Israel whom God delivered from slavery in Egypt.
In Exodus 3, the Lord spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him that He came down to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt and bring them into the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
In Joshua chapters 3-5, the children of Israel finally entered the promised land, and for the first time “the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan.” (Joshua 5:12)
This geographical area (ancient Canaan) was the land that God commanded the people of Israel to tithe from. So when you read the tithing laws and see the word “land”, it was referring to the land of Israel.