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The Difference Between Tithes and First Fruits?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Leah, Jan 8, 2007.

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  1. Leah

    Leah 2 Corinthians 5:21

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    I've been studying this for the past week and find it very intriguing and important.

    There are some things I still don't understand concerning the difference between the two. So, will someone, who has knowledge and understanding, please help me out with this.

    Btw, this thread is not open for debating; as I know some of you don't believe in tithing/first fruits and/or feel it's not important to do. If that is you, I strongly encourage you to not even bother posting.

    Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. HadassahSukkot

    HadassahSukkot Das Mäuschen

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    Firstfruits has to do directly with your harvest ingathering at three pivitol timeframes.

    You have the Barley, the Wheat, and the Wine & wheat ingathering in the Spring and Fall.

    Tithes are more on the generalities of your crop or otherwise monitary gain (remember not everyone cultivated their own crops or raised animals. People in the city in general did not own animals)..

    I haven't extensively studied it as of yet, I am still trying to work out just the Tithing part.

    Silly as it sounds the only notes I have off hand on tithing is on a post-it note I made while listening to a sermon online.

    Per Torah there are several tithes... they are "priority" for where our money (or goods traded in for money) are to be directed.

    1. Widows & Orphans
    2. Poor of the Brethren
    3. Rendering to the Levites (The ones who teach you)
    And we are told that if we have any is left over, you are to bring it into the storehouse of the Temple where believers came together to worship - this can be also known as Congregational Giving. it assists in the upkeep of the building.

    There are four levels of giving.
    1. Sacrifice (bringing something that is of great value to you)
    2. Tithe (commanded from your abundance)
    3. Freewill/Votive offering (secret giving/hilarious giving)
    4. "Widow's Mite" (Giving of your need/life to others. This is the giving of Messiah)


    Just some things to think over and ponder.
    As I've already said, it's not extensive; and I am still trying to work it out myself.
     
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  3. ShammahBenJudah

    ShammahBenJudah Son of Zion

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    The Commandment establishing the Feast of First Fruits is found in Leviticus 23. It is usually overshadowed by the Feast of Passover, but it has sincere importance.

    "Then the Lord told Moses to give these instructions to the Israelites: "When you arrive in the land I am giving you and you harvest your first crops, bring the priest some grain from the first portion of your grain harvest. On the day after the Sabbath, the priest will lift it up before the Lord so it may be accepted on your behalf. That same day you must sacrifice a year-old male lamb with no physical defects as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. A grain offering must accompany it consisting of three quarts of choice flour mixed with olive oil. It will be an offering given to the Lord by fire, and it will be very pleasing to him. Along with this sacrifice, you must also offer one quart of wine as a drink offering. Do not eat any bread or roasted grain or fresh kernels on that day until after you have brought this offering to your God. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed wherever you live." Leviticus 23:9-14 NLT

    The traditional daily blessing to Adonai during the feast:

    :clap: Barukh atah Adonai Elohenu melekh ha-olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvohtav v’tzi-vanu al sfirat haomer.:clap:

    (Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has set us apart by your commandments and has commanded us concerning the counting of the sheaf.)

    The tithe is altogether different from the First Fruits.

    "You must set aside a tithe of your crops-one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year." Deuteronomy 14:22 NLT

    " "I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my laws and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty.
    "But you ask, `How can we return when we have never gone away?'
    "Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me!
    "But you ask, `What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?'
    "You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the Lord Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the Lord Almighty. "Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the Lord Almighty." Malachi 3:6-12 NLT

    The short of it is this...First Fruits is given first. It has nothing to do with your increase, it is not given as a portion of your abundance because there is no abundance yet. It is given prior to any increase.

    The increase follows First Fruits and it is the 10th part of the total harvest or increase that makes the tithe. Is that OK for a start?
     
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  4. JTLauder

    JTLauder Senior Member

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    Not having done any extensive study on it, from what I understand, as Hadassah said, in Bible times, the first fruits are the products from the first harvest of the year in the Spring following the barren winter. There is a second harvest in the fall, which is usually much more abundant. There is no set amount of how much is to be given for the firstfruits. They are offered to God, acknowledging and honoring God for being the provider of all. It signifiies one's faith and understanding that God will provide and give more.

    "Tithe" literally means "tenth". It signifies giving back to God, acknowledging that what we've been given really belongs to God. And the collected tithes are used for communical, leadership and others' benefits.
     
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  5. Leah

    Leah 2 Corinthians 5:21

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    Wow, all three replies have helped me out quite a bit! :thumbsup:

    So, first fruits are that, which are always given to God first, no matter how much, or what, it is?? What, then, are first fruits?

    And the tithe is what's due to God, out of your increase (money), because it's already His? And my understanding of that is that you can't keep something that doesn't belong to you.

    Forgive me if my questions seem off or repetative. Just trying to understand, that's all.

    Thanks for all the help, btw! :thumbsup:
     
  6. HadassahSukkot

    HadassahSukkot Das Mäuschen

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    Firstfruits would be the first fruits (efforts/product) of your crops.

    Whether grain, fruit, meat.

    The firstborn of each clean and unclean animal is to be dedicated to YHVH. If the unclean is not paid for by ransom, you are supposed to break it's neck.

    The firstborn of the sheep, calves, goats are to be sacrificed.

    On the normal harvest tithes, it is dependent on what you are giving tithes for. It's really more at a third than a tenth once you get to thinking of it... I'll try and find what i have and get back to ya.
     
  7. Leah

    Leah 2 Corinthians 5:21

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    OK, other than the crops and animal thing, isn't the first fruits also what one does first before anything else? Meaning the first governs the rest? For example, you get up in the morning and start your day with pray and scripture reading. And because of that, the rest of the day will, in turn, bear fruit??
     
  8. JTLauder

    JTLauder Senior Member

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    Since reading this thread yesterday, I've been trying hard to think of modern equivalents to "first fruits" which we can relate to. Understanding Biblical concepts in their context is important, but the whole point of that is so we can learn how to apply those principles to our lives.

    People in ancient Biblical times would have no problem understanding "first fruits" because they understood farming. But I think it's safe to say that the majority of us today have little background in agriculture. How what in the modern urban setting can we equate to "first fruits"?

    I do not think it's the same thing as "bearing fruit", nor is it "doing something first before anything else". "Fruits" in this case is not something we do, but something we recieve or gain.

    "First fruits" are the products/crops from the first harvest in the Spring following the long barren drought of the winter. Offering them back to God honors God as the provider with the faith and hope that he will provide more (as in the much more abundant harvest in the fall).

    If I have to think of a modern equivalent, the image of maybe someone being out of a job for a long time so he has to live thriftly for a while then finds a job. And with his first paycheck, instead of splurging on himself, he remains faithful that finances will be in order and that more paychecks will come so he uses his pay responsibly in how God would want him to use it.

    A more rudimentary example might be a mother baking several batches of cookies. After a long hard day's work, instead of rewarding herself with that first batch of cookies, she offers it to her family and she'll eat later batches knowing there is plenty more to come.

    Maybe other people can come up with better modern analogies?
     
  9. HadassahSukkot

    HadassahSukkot Das Mäuschen

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    No, the times of prayer are different.

    FFOZ has some great resources on the time of prayer (a CD set and DVD set) that details the set times of prayer that are detailed in scripture and the sacrifices that go with them.

    I have to admit I haven't made it all the way through that teaching and I do need to complete it. I just found it again, so I guess that's great incentive (Along with this thread) to begin anew. ;)

    There are three times of prayer, one that goes with getting up in the morning, one that is around 9-11 am, and another around 3-4 in accordance with the final sacrifice times for the day.. and they all have great signifigance.

    With your tithes and offerings, if you had a long journey ahead of you, G-d provided in saying you should convert it to money, and come to the place of worship then to give. (that way it doesn't spoil and you get full market value)

    I'll keep looking and hopefully find my notes.
     
  10. HadassahSukkot

    HadassahSukkot Das Mäuschen

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    WOW, I think that is a great analogy! Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
  11. HephzibahBenJudah

    HephzibahBenJudah Daughter of Zion Supporter

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    First fruits were often of the first of their flocks, like the new borne sheep and the barley grain.
     
  12. HephzibahBenJudah

    HephzibahBenJudah Daughter of Zion Supporter

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  13. HadassahSukkot

    HadassahSukkot Das Mäuschen

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    and



    (Sorry, had to do it..)

    I find it interesting that of these crops, some people wouldn't be partaking; such as the Nazirite of the grapes....

    I think there is something here about each of the fruits & their signifigances, but then again I tend to look really deeply at passages.

     
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