There are actually two types of biblical tithing if we are to classify it by the manner it was given.
- The Abrahamic tithe– This tithe was voluntary, this type of tithe can be correlated with giving, it’s not an obligation as Abraham gave it without anyone prompting or commanding him (Genesis 14:18-20). Here, whats holy to God was not yet specified and or defined, for this reason the tithe can be anything (valuable or not valuable) not limited to money since Abraham giveth a tenth of all and the word “all-spoil of war” is broad. Also, this tithe was given in response because Abraham was blessed, not he gave so that he will be blessed. But, this tithe in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, in order for Him to receive it and in order for us to give to Him, it was implied to give what is for Him to the poor, stranger, in prison, in short give to those in need (Matthew 25:42-45). The 10% serve only as a guideline, we can give more or less of that as long as willing, cheerful and able.
- The Levitical Tithe – This type of tithe was an obligation, whether they like it or not, this tithe has to be given to the Levites and only to them. This was their lifeblood and payment for their priestly service, without this, Levites will be forced to work in the field. And, without giving the Levites their portion thus, not able to give the 10% of the tithe of what they receive to the priest as the Lord’s portion, the people of Israel would be guilty of robbing God. Here, what’s holy to God was clearly specified and/or defined, according to (Leviticus 27:30) the tithe of the land, the agricultural produced are holy hence tithable, money was never allowed. Also, this tithe including the offerings was commanded to be given to the Levites and priest so that the people will be blessed, failure to give this tithe and offering, God threatened that curses will be upon them. In today’s time as practiced by men, it has been equated to kinda like an indirect salary for the pastor for his ministerial labor. But, this commandment of tithe to be received by Levites alongside with the offering rituals has been annulled when Jesus was officiated as High Priest replacing them (Click here for a related topic). So by right, this tithe cannot and should not be practiced by us Christians.
Now, if we are to practice giving 10% of our income today because Abraham gave 10%, which giving of 10% should we adopt as Christians?
See FAQ to know the real tithe in the bible?