Tithe in the Order of Melchizedek

Interesting argument by Derek Prince about tithing.

We often think of tithing as an Old Testament idea, and many people argue that it is not Christian right along with the sacrificial laws that were only in effect for a time and were fulfilled in Christ.  Yet the first indicator for the tithe comes from Abraham.  Still obviously from the Old Testament, Genesis 14:17-20 tell how Abraham received a blessing from the King of Salem, called Melchizedek and a priest of God Most High.  In response to that blessing (which accompanied a meal of bread and wine), Abraham gave him a tenth, a tithe, of all his spoils.

This event takes on more significance when we read in Psalm 110 about the coming Messiah who is called “a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”  Who is this priest who will be established forever?  The author of Hebrews speaks in depth about the significance of this title in chapters 5, 6 and especially 7.  Christ is this priest.  He is our high priest who makes intercession with God the Father on our behalf.  He has given us his richest blessings by laying his own life down for us to ensure that with him we would receive a rich inheritance of salvation, his righteousness, and eternal life.

And so, in essence, the author of Hebrews establishes a bridge.  To Abraham God promised that he would be the father of a nation and that all nations would be blessed through him.  What God promised was to bring about the Messiah, the savior of the world, through Abraham’s descendants.  After receiving that promise, Abraham modeled paying a tithe to Melchizedek, a shadow of Christ who would come as our priest.  It certainly makes sense to me that as Christians we stand with Abraham as he receives that promise, the promise that we have seen fulfilled, and pay our honor to Christ for his rich blessings by sharing a part of our income.

About Aaron Gardner

Aaron is a counselor and student of the Bible, passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He lives in central Indiana with his wife, one-year-old son and their two dogs. View all posts by Aaron Gardner

4 responses to “Tithe in the Order of Melchizedek

  • Tony Isaac

    This conclusion is based on a completely wrong premise. Abraham receiving God’s promise had nothing whatsoever to do with tithing. The book of Romans tells us very plainly that Abraham received God’s promise by faith and faith alone.

    Melchizedek was not a shadow of Christ instead the writer of the book of Hebrews was trying to show to his Jewish audience that Jesus’ claim to priesthood was legitimate even though He did not descend from the tribe of Levi. He showed to them that there was a class of priests who were not made so by the law but by an oath from God. And the legality of this priesthood was shown in the person of Melchizedek seeing that he received tithes from Abraham. Something only descendants of Levi were allowed to receive.

    No portion of scripture ever tells us to emulate Abraham’s example and tithe. Also Abraham never tithed off his personal possessions but on spoils of war. He divided these spoils of war into ten equal parts and gave one part to Melchizedek and returned the remaining to the original owners without keeping anything for himself.

    The tithe has no bearing on the New Testament church, God bless.

  • Aaron Gardner

    Thanks for your comment, Tony. To clarify I am not sure that I agree with Prince’s position. In fact the book that he discussed this in I frankly find atrocious. I had never even heard that as an argument for a tithe, and wanted to put it out there to see what other people thought.

  • Tony Isaac

    That’s a relief! I am almost certain we will get people in their droves who will believe it and try and defend it.

  • Aaron Gardner

    Indeed! That is the risk that I take in writing a post that is strictly the thoughts of someone who is out to lunch like Derek Prince. I am posting my review of his book tomorrow. Let’s just say this post reflected the “best” part of the book… *sigh*

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