Making money off the widow’s mite

widows mite

-drawing by Amy Pectol,

Two widows’ passages are used as examples to give all freely away to the church. But are they really being used to rob the widow?

There are 2 widows’ passages used by prosperity preachers. This is the part you hear:

1. the widow’s mite

Mar 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

Mar 12:43 And he called [unto him] his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:


2. the widow that fed Elijah

1Ki 17:12 And she said, [As] the LORD thy God lives, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

1Ki 17:13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go [and] do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring [it] unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

1Ki 17:16 [And] the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Elijah.

Conclusions usually given from these passages:

1. both widows offered to give all they had to God

2. God is pleased when we give all we have to Him (ie. to church, who represents God to us), especially when we cannot afford it because it is an act of faith.

3. God will reward our giving with more than we had to begin with.


1. The widow’s mite – let us go back and see what Jesus was really saying.

These are the preceding verses:

Mar 12:38 And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and [love] salutations in the marketplaces,

Mar 12:40 Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

Mar 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

Mar 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

Here we see that Jesus was criticizing the Scribes for robbing the widow, and just as he finished speaking of this, a good example came along. A widow put in all she had. Maybe she wanted someone to pray for her.

Instead of the scribes giving to the widow, the widow was giving to them. The system was backwards, and Jesus said they were devouring the widow.

We never are told that she offered to do this. She may or may not have done this willingly. She may have felt obligated.

We are never told that she received back more than she gave. If she gave all she had, then she could not do this again, like weekly, since she was now out of money.

2. the widow that fed Elijah – points:

a. the widow did not offer to feed Elijah. It was not a free will offering. He had to ask.

b. the widow first objected to do this

1Ki 17:12 And she said, [As] the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I [am] gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

c. she finally complied after Elijah assured her that she and her son would be taken care of

1Ki 17:14 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day [that] the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

1Ki 17:15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat [many] days

d. this was not a weekly giving on the part of the widow. It was a one time act of obedience, in which God helped her afterwards.

e. The widow was giving to a true prophet of God, when asked, who gave back to her more than she gave.

She was not giving to a preacher who would take her money, and give her nothing in return.

What does God command regarding the widow?

Exd 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

Deu 10:18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

Isa 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Jer 7:6 [If] ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow,

Zec 7:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor;


If you are requiring offerings from widows, instead of helping them with food and raiment, as God commands, you are oppressing the widow.

If you are telling the poor to give all they have, when they cannot even afford to buy food or pay bills, you are oppressing the poor.

Neither, now, have what they need to live.

No real “man of God” would oppress the widow and the poor. He would give to them, not take from them.

36 Responses to “Making money off the widow’s mite”

  1. […] to freely give away all to the church.  But are they really being used to rob the widow? Click here for […]

  2. Agree, those with a true heart of a Shepherd will not rob the widows. You might be interested in a related topic – The Nicolaitanes – The Rise of the Paid Religous Heirarchy on my blog. –Rodney

  3. Hi Marianne,

    The words of Agur says this best.
    The horseleach has Two Daughters crying :


    Pro 30:11
    [There is] a generation [that] curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.

    Pro 30:12
    [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.

    Pro 30:13
    [There is] a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up.

    Pro 30:14
    [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords, and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men.

    Pro 30:15
    The horseleach hath two daughters, [crying], GIVE, GIVE. There are three [things that] are never satisfied, [yea], four [things] say not, [It is] enough:

    Pro 30:16
    The grave; and the barren womb; the earth [that] is not filled with water; and the fire [that] saith not, [It is] enough.

    Pro 30:17
    The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

    The Lord is Lord, The Lord is King
    And The Lord is Judge!!!

    But they have no fear of God.

  4. Such a permissive, adulterous…. generation!!
    People chant and applaud those who are wicked.
    And this today is the norm.
    What will tomorrow be like???

    One yelled, “Stop killing our children.”
    The graduates responded by chanting “Yes we can,”

  5. Interesting thought, “Did they give freely or were they coerced?” Hard to say but if they loved God, then God promises to take the bad and turn it good. It’s a nice promise for us when we try to do the right things for the right reason and it just doesn’t seem to work out.

    • Hi Archie,

      I think a giver will always be blessed in some way. The person who receives the money needs to have a clean conscience, however.

  6. Hi Marianne,

    Good post! Some of the prosperity preachers actually teach to give expecting a greater return. I thought we should give expecting nothing in return. What we do hope for is to always being wise in our giving and that it is a blessing not for ourselves but true treasure in heaven.
    But we sometimes seem to gravitate to those prosperity teachers who tickle our ears and preach the things we want to hear. YES, God is merciful and will bless us, but not always in the way we want or expect.

    • Hi Mr T

      Strangely enough, I think my greatest losses were right after I freely gave a significant amount of money.

      The concept works backwards for me, so I quit. sigh

  7. Amen to thre whole teaching Marrianne.ISAIH58 has afew things to say about the representation of right ministry today as well.
    God bless,

  8. excellent points… glad you shared.

  9. I think that many retired folks who are on pensions, retirements or set income from annuities should remember that they probably already tithed off of the original income when they first earned it years ago. If they can afford to bless others who need it more than they do, that is great. But they probably should not feel compelled to give again off the retirement they set aside for old age.

    • Hi Decie,

      That is a good point. The government also taxes social security, which is money already taxed once before. I think the elderly need to have a time of peace and rewards, where no one pressures them.

  10. This is so true, they are robbig the poor and the widows. It is wrong, wrong, and wrong, and there needs to be repentance and more exposing of this false doctrine. Amen!

    • Hi Marty,

      Thanks for your comment. I bookmarked your website, and plan to visit it. I love prophecy, if it is pure and true. 🙂

      God bless you.

  11. What a great post! I just recently learned that the concept of tithing was not even an early Church practice, and was not actually taught to believers in the NT. ! Paul and the other NT writers talked a lot about GIVING: not the same as tithing, an old covenant practice (gee, I thought we were set free from that!). This is the sacred cow of all sacred cows for the modern Church. The church we are in the process of leaving, refused to have a credible minister come and teach on healing simply because he didn’t teach tithing. The new church we are helping to start, will not impose tithing, but will teach giving as the Lord leads.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Glad to hear you free from bondage now. 🙂

      They only paid tithes to the temple in Jerusalem until it was destroyed.

      Jews, who know the law better than we do, have not paid tithes in 2000 years. They just give offerings and pay the temple tax, which is a small yearly fee. In the OT it was one shekel, which is 25 cents today. However, they give more than that – about $500 a year, but sometimes less.

      • How do you know? At my temple we pay thousands a year and do even more if we have it…you have no idea what you are talking about!

        • angela

          You must have a big temple. Many shuls are small and have poorer communities. So the dues vary according to what the community members can afford. But those are still dues, not tithes. If you were in a church, you would be paying a lot more.

  12. Let’s conclude this matter: preacher’s are good about teaching us how to give but they never teach us how to give of ourselves. This is what Christ would have us to do is to give of ourselves. What did God tell king Saul: Obedience is better then sacrafice!

    Don The Baptist

  13. This was excellent exegesis. Thank you.

  14. The spirit with which we give has great value in God’s eyes. I’ve known many who give just to cut their income taxes down some. Honestly, I worked as Financial Secretary for a church (with the promise that they would soon open a position for Religious Education Minister and I would be first in line for the job… People would come to be AFTER the new year, wanting to know how much they had given, and wanting to give an additional amount, wanting me to back date the contribution to the previous year, so they could count it on their income tax as a deduction.

    I refused.

    I did not get the job as Religious Education Minister.

    • Hi Debbie,

      So the people made the decision about your job, and not the pastor? How strange….

      It sounds like some people there have issues they need to focus on, and tax deductions are not one of them.

  15. If Jesus was here today, And he is here today. He would call many of you Hypocrites. The main point and only point is do you Truly BELIEVE?

    True Believers, continue to press toward the MARK!

    Don The Babtist

  16. Hi Marianne,

    Excellent. Good post. I enjoyed reading it. Your post is now linked to my blog.

  17. Marrianne; I am so glad for this infromation! I was in a mnistry which abused the word, the people, and took from honest hard working people financially. Lying prophets came and just milked the folks of their money and never introduced them to Jesus! I had yo get out of ther and run for my life!!!

  18. i was in a church where u wuld tithe then give then give again,,,,,then they wuld ask for boosters ie all the coins in ur pocket! after becoming very poor and in debt i left…obviously!!!

  19. I have my own two mites to add. I was blessed to grow up under a pastor who taught that there are 3 things to remember when reading the bible. Context, context and context. Another way to look at that is you take a text out context you are left with a con.

    Luke 6:36 Give and it shall be given, if read within context is talking about judgement. Read the whole chapter.

    2 Corinthians 9:6 Sow sparingly and reap sparingly. Another one used to give out of you need. Funny thing is preachers never read vs 7 which says Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. Or of necessity also reads under compulsion.

  20. My wife used the logo by Amy Pectol for a fundraising page she has set up, but someone has told her she could not use the picture as the picture was copyrighted, is that true and does that mean she has to remove it? thank you

  21. nice. good work.

  22. You shout check out Master Prophet Bishop Jordan he tells people to borrow to by an oil

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