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The Lord’s tithe (Num. 18:21-28) and the poor tithe (Deut. 14:27-29) took care of the basic social functions which, under modern totalitarianism, have become the province of the State, namely, education and welfare. The Levites collected the tithe, gave a tenth to the priests, and kept the rest for themselves. Education was one of the functions of the Levites. The Levites not only assisted the priests in the religious duties related to the sanctuary, but served as officers, judges, and musicians (I Chron. 23:1-5). The tithe is an acknowledgment of God’s kingship; in I Sam. 8:4-19, the consequences of a rejection of God’s kingship are cited: totalitarianism, oppression, a loss of liberty, and an increased cost of the State.
- Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law 52-56, esp. 55 (1973)