Numbers 18:21 MEANING

Numbers 18:21
(21) All the tenth in Israel.--The reference here is to the first tithe, or tenth of the whole of the produce of the land.

Verse 21. - All the tenth. The tithe of all fruits and flocks had been already claimed absolutely by the Lord (Leviticus 27:30, 32). It is probable indeed that the giving of tithes had been more or less a matter of obligation from time immemorial. Abraham had paid them on one memorable occasion (Genesis 14:20), and Jacob had vowed them on another (Genesis 28:22). From this time forth, however, the tithes were formally assigned to the maintenance of the Levites, in return for their service.

18:20-32 As Israel was a people not to be numbered among the nations, so Levi was a tribe to be distinguished from the rest. Those who have God for their Inheritance and their Portion for ever, ought to look with holy contempt and indifference upon the possessions of this world. The Levites were to give God his dues out of their tithes, as well as the Israelites out of their increase. See, in ver. 31, the way to have comfort in all our worldly possessions, so as to bear no sin by reason of them. 1. We must be sure that what we have is got honestly and in the service of God. That meat is best eaten which is first earned; but if any will not work, neither shall he eat, 2Th 3:10. 2. We must be sure that God has his dues out of it. We have the comfort of our substance, when we have honoured the Lord with it. Ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved the best from it. We should give alms of such things as we have, that all may be holy and comfortable to us.And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance,.... The tenth part of the produce of the land; of the wheat, barley, oil, and wine; the tenth part of their harvest and vintage; so that though they were the least of the tribes, they had the greatest share of the increase of the land, and that without any labour or expense; the other having but nine parts among them all, and at the charge and labour of manuring, cultivating, &c. and this they were to have

for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; see Numbers 18:3.

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