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Do I tithe on an inheritance?

4 January 2010 No Comment

Dear Dave,
My wife is about to receive a sizeable inheritance from her father. Do you think we should tithe on the principal sum that she receives?

Dear Wade,
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no indication in Scripture that you should tithe on an inheritance. It never hurts to give, but I think when it comes to an inheritance, you’re talking about something that would be more of an offering than a tithe. I don’t think you’ve got a biblical mandate to tithe on an inheritance.

References to tithing in the Bible seem to me to be connected to money that you earn. In Deuteronomy 28, it says to tithe on your net increase. Now yes, you’re increased by an inheritance, but many of these people were herders and lived in an agrarian society. If you had a herd of 100 sheep one year, and two died but seven were born, then you’d have a net increase of five, and you might calculate your tithe on that basis.

It would be the same principle if you owned a small business. Your net profits would be your income, and you would determine your tithe based on that amount.

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