Thursday, January 07, 2010

Teh Storehouse Deception

The Temple "storehouse" concept is a widely abused doctrine and most have it wrong.

(1) According to Numbers 35, Joshua 20-21 and many other texts (see my chapter on Nehemiah), the Levites and priests originally lived in 48 cites which later became 13 in Judea, including Hebron and Jericho.

(2) Since the Levites and priests rotated service in the Temple only once every 24th week (see my chapter on Nehemiah), that means that only about two per cent (2%) of their total were at the temple most of the time (after subtracting women and younger children).

(3) Therefore, if 98% of those who required tithes for food were not in Jerusalem, then it makes no sense to teach that ALL of the tithes MUST be kept in the Temple in Jerusalem. Thus the common interpretation of Malachi 3:10 must be in error.

(4) The key text is Nehemiah 10:37b-39 where the ordinary people were commanded to take their tithes, NOT TO THE TEMPLE, but to the Levitical cities where the priests and Levites together accepted them.

(5) In this context Malachi 3:10 only makes sense if it refers only to priests per Nehemiah 10:38-39.

(6) From Nehemiah 12:42-44 and 13:5-10 I deduce that the Levites and priests brought whatever tithes they required with them from their cites when they went to the temple to serve for one week at a time.

(7) Also from Nehemiah 13:5 I conclude that the temple only contained two very small storerooms for the tithe and other things used by the priests and Levites. Notice: it would have been impossible, improbable and illogical to insist that two small storerooms inside the temple could hold all the tithe of the entire nation.

(8) The "storehouse," rather "storerooms" or "chambers" text you are seeking is 2nd Chronicles 31:11. It was to hold tithes and other thing (see Neh 13:5) only for those Levites and priests currently ministering in the temple for a week.

(9) The "heaps" seen in 2nd Chronicles 31 were a mistake (see my chapter on 2nd Chron 31). The temple had been closed for a generation because of idol worship and the truth had been forgotten. In error, King Hezekiah had commanded the people to bring tithes to the Temple and it would not hold them. Confused by the rotting heaps, the king called his counselors of Levites and priests. The result: verses 15-19 reveal that the majority of the tithes were RE-SHIPPED back to the Levitical cities. This sequence is conveniently ignored by the tithe teachers who stumble at Malachi 3:10.

(10) The Temple of Hezekiah and 2nd Chronicles had been built by David and Solomon --and-- it had no huge storehouse for the tithes of the nation. Hezekiah did not build a storehouse; rather he "prepared" chambers to hold a small amount of the tithes as discussed.

(11) The church is never called a storehouse. In fact it had no buildings called churches for over 200 years after Calvary and they were not legal for over 300 years.

The truth makes sense, doesn't it?

Russ Kelly

No comments: