AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PRIESTLY EMOLUMENT IN NUMBERS 18:8-321

Miracle Ajah

Abstract


This article seeks to examine how a theological reflection on the priestly emolument in
Numbers 18:8-32 would enhance a better interpretation of stewardship amongst believing
communities in Africa. Dependency syndrome amongst most African churches, especially
those established by Europeans has robbed them of the prestige of adopting a selfsupporting/
propagating programme. The thesis of this paper maintains that a good
synchronization of the tradition-historical exegetical method proposed by Gnuse will
facilitate a good interpretation of the priestly emoluments in Numbers 18 and their
subsequent application to the church in Africa today. Comparable texts from the Ancient
Near East that may have influenced Numbers 18 were surveyed; the possible oral prehistory
of Numbers 18 was scrutinized; the connection of Numbers 18 to other priestly
traditions was examined; and the use or interpretation of the pericope by the wider biblical
tradition concluded the study. The practice of tithes in Numbers 18 was rooted in the
theological understanding that the LORD was the owner of the land and the Israelites were
to tithe all the wealth of the land as a means of submitting to that sovereign ownership. This
same understanding will motivate a strong stewardship and independence amongst
churches in Africa.

Keywords


Tithes, Priestly emolument, Numbers 18, Pentateuch

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/103-0-592

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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