Muzzle the Ox


Does it really mean money?

“You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain” (Deut. 25:4).

what is the motivation behind the command?

Is the primary issue Yahweh’s compassion and protection for animals (cf. Prov. 12:10; Jonah 4:11), or is there an element of human justice and protection at play (cf. Deut. 22:14)?

Economically, it would not make sense if the owner of the ox muzzled his own ox while it is doing hard labor.”

By process of elimination, this leaves us with the situation of a man borrowing or renting an ox to thresh his own grain.

In that event, his self-interest would entail preserving as much of of his threshed grain as possible; on the other hand, he would have no intrinsic motivation to let the ox eat of his grain.

If the animal ended up in a weakened state or unhealthy as a result, the situation does not result in any economic loss on his end.

This, then, seems like the most plausible situation for requiring a command.

The covenant stipulation works against the selfish motive for a man to take advantage of another man’s property.

In 1 Timothy 5:17 Paul writes,

“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.”

In v. 18 Paul grounds this teaching with two quotations:

“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” (Deut. 25:4)


“The laborer deserves his wages” (Luke 10:7; cf. Matt. 10:10).

Paul’s point is that pastor-elders should not be taken for granted or taken advantage of, but rather should be adequately compensated for their gospel labors.

Marianne Note: But how are they compensated?


The Torah teaches us that in the simplest terms a domesticated animal is entitled to its rights to eat.

Marianne Note: We are talking about FOOD, not money.

Taken out of its context and applied to our passage, as many Christian commentators have done it, this simple Torah law seems to mean that as an ox is entitle to its food after a hard work, so does a Christian pastor: after his work to teach the Gospel, he is entitled to receive the tithes of the congregants.

Marianne Note: Food does not mean tithes!


Yeshua’s teaching concerning the tithes

We read in Matthew 10 that Yeshua sent the twelve disciples having commanded them not to go into the lands of the gentiles and not to enter the cities of the Samaritans, but rather to go the lost sheep of the House of Israel (Mat 10:1-6).

He further commanded them, and this is what one cannot find in the Christian doctrine of the tithes, not to take any monetary rewards, not even shoes. We read thus:

Do not take wages. Without cost you have received, without cost you give. Do not heap up silver and gold, nor wealth in your purse, nor changes of clothes, nor shoes, nor a staff in your hands

And in another occasion, He sent seventy others, two by two, into every city where He Himself was about to go, commanding them again the same thing: to take nothing with them, nothing they could gain.

Note that the Master commanded His disciples not to take even shoes as a reward for their teachings, but to eat and drink only what would be served on the table.

Do not take a purse, nor a bag, nor sandals. And greet no one along the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ … And stay in the same house, eating and drinking whatever with them, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not move from house to house. And into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat whatever is placed before you, (Luk 10:4-8)

For the Scripture says,

“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,”


“The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1Ti 5:18)

Therefore, what Shaul said in 1Co 9:14 must be the same what Yeshua said to His disciples when He sent them out to teach: “the food and the drink you have on the table is your reward. Do no take money from the people.”

It was natural to show hospitality by serving food and drink to refresh the bodies, but their real reward was the fulfillment of the Master’s command to bring the Good News. 

Do not take wages. Without cost you have received, without cost you give.

However, Shaul went even further to make his point which let us not forget was Yeshua’s point, too. He says,

For if I do this voluntarily I have a reward, but if not voluntarily, I am entrusted with a stewardship.

What then is my reward?

That in bringing the Good News, I should offer the Good News of Messiah without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News. (1Co 9:17-18)

Then, he very explicitly said that his reward was the preaching the Good news of the Messiah, and to make it clear, lest someone might misunderstand him, he pointed out that he was doing his job without charge, without any cost, to the hearers of the Good News.

“Without charge”

Again, Shaul’s point is the commission to Yeshua’s disciples not to take any wages for bringing the Good News to the people,

Do not take wages.

Without cost you have received, without cost you give.


Work for Daily bread

However, we see a new element in 2Th 3:8-10: the disciples when sent in mission were to work for the daily bread in order not to be any burden of the hosts.

And he explained that although the disciples had the authority, they were to work for the bread to set an example for the rest.

What authority did Shaul mean when he said these words?

This is the authority given by the Lord: And stay in the same house, eating and drinking whatever with them, for the laborer is worthy of his wages.

This very authority that the laborer (that is the preacher) is worthy of his wages (that is the food) Shaul willingly gave up in order to set an example so that he can win more for the Good News.

The directions in The Didache were given to those who would bring the Good News, and would closely follow Shaul’s teaching in

2 Cor :  Let us read attentively:

Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets.  Let every apostle, when he comes to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not abide more that a single day, or if there be need, a second likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet.

And when he departs let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he finds shelter; but if he asks money, he is a false prophet.

But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him.

But if he tells you to give for others’ sake who are in need, let no one judge him.

Chapter 12. Reception of Christians.  But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left.

If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be.

But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat.

Chapter 13. Support of Prophets.  But every true prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of his food.

So also a true teacher is himself worthy, as the workman, of his food.


Hence, we see that the twelve apostles taught and practice exactly what Yeshua the Messiah had taught them, namely that no monetary gain was to be asked for teaching the Gospel.

If he asks money, he is a false prophet.

But if he wants to stay, he has to work for the food; he is worthy of his food.

As a true teacher is himself worthy of his food during his stay, as the workman, of his food.

What Yeshua taught and what His disciples taught afterwards can be basically narrowed down to this: a preacher or a teacher is to be received with hospitality and provided temporary lodging and food.

And this is to be his wage.

He is not to ask money and not to be given any.

If he asks money, he is a false teacher.



Therefore, we see, there is no foundation for the claim that the modern-day priests, pastors, and other clergy staff are entitled to receive free money from the parishioners.

But, what do we see today? We see just the opposite.

The reward of the modern-day clergy has a reward in a large material portion from the laity.

Very often the church staff has much better social security benefits, retirement plans, material possessions, etc., than the congregants themselves.

They are rich; some of them even millionaires.

The pastors, reverends, bishops, and TV evangelists, etc., most of them rich and some of them very rich, take the tithes of the congregants for the simple reason that they believe that the Church has replaced Israel, “the professional priesthood” has replaced the Levitical priesthood, and they are “the new Levites” today.

They use the verse below.

When you take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall set apart of it a gift for Yehovah, even a tithe of the tithe. (Num 18:26)

Marianne Note: Gentile preachers are NOT Levite priests that work in the Temple.

Sadly, they do not even suspect, for the lack of knowledge of the Torah (consider Shimon’s warning in 2Pe 3:14-17), that YHVH forbids any imitation of the Levitical Priesthood.

No one can say today that he is a modern-day Levite and he deserves the tithes.

And since there is no Levitical priesthood today, the tithes we can tithe today are for the poor, the widow, the orphans, the sick; your tithes are for the needy. T

his is the Torah.

If Paul did not claim the tithes, why should they?


Final thoughts

Most preachers are ignorant, or self-deceived, and some are knowingly dishonest about the tithe.

They are NOT entitled to it, or anything else except food, for their part time preaching efforts. Most only work  2 days a week, but they want full time pay.

They should have jobs to support themselves and family.

See also






Tithing in the Church I

Tithing in Judaism



3 Responses to “Muzzle the Ox”

  1. 11~19~2020 On Yahweh’s Green Earth NOT The Christian Vatican’s!
    Yahshua The Prince of Peace The Only Son of Yahweh Returns VERY SOON! PRAY NOW to be SAVED and SEALED in THEM. Revelation 14:1
    HalleluYah! Hebrew: “Praise ye Yah!

    Tithing in the Bible was for the believers in the Father and Son, Yahweh and Yahshua. They were of the Hebrew faith NOT believers in Christianity, the Roman Catholic dogma of The Vatican in Rome, Italy.


    “Come out of HER My people. . .or receive the plagues!” Yahshua the Messiah calling down from Heaven in Revelation 18:4 and following verses. (Emphasis and paraphrasing by me.)


    • Jayna

      There is no tithing to Pastors in the New Testament. Only offerings are collected for the needs of the Believers.

      Tithing in Judaism was stopped after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. Even today there is no tithing. Jews give offerings only as there is no Temple to present a tithe in

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: