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The cost of idolatry, giving tithes and other rules: Deuteronomy 13–16:17

Does God really want the poor to stay poor and destitute? Not according to this:

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.

The rules around slavery look more like a bonded labour system than the abject and cruel slavery we think of from American movies.

Even the tithing system appears to have been set up to support the Levites and certain classes of poor (as well as to worship God):

Deuteronomy 15:28-29 “At the end of every third year, bring the entire tithe of that year’s harvest and store it in the nearest town. Give it to the Levites, who will receive no allotment of land among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.

Tithes for the other two years were to be eaten in God’s presence. If the designated place to do this was too far away to take the crops and livestock, the farmers could sell their produce and use the money to buy supplies for the feast.

The reason?

Deuteronomy 14:23 Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.

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