Mint

Mint

The Book of Law required that Jews tithe. Tithing meant that they gave 10% of their money and/or their crops to the Lord which usually went to the Temple (Leviticus 27:30). Because mint was a herb produced by farmers for commerce, the law required Jews to tithe on it.

That Mint was tithed at all shows the value the Pharisees placed upon this herb. Mint was

valued for its fresh aroma and sweet taste and was often used to flavour meat. Also, as a “strewing” herb, mint stems were hung in the temple, in doorways and thrown on dirt floors to mask the effects of inadequate sanitation.

The Hebrews served mint at the Spring Passover Feast of the Paschal Lamb (Easter) , and even today it is one of the “bitter herbs” of the paschal feast.

One day, a Pharisee invited Jesus to his house to eat. Christ entered the house and rested at the table. The Pharisee was surprised that Jesus did not wash his hands before the meal for two reasons: a) because food was normally eaten with the fingers and b) Jewish practices included a routine for hand washing before meals. Knowing what his host was thinking, Jesus rebuked him, saying that ‘the Pharisees clean the outsides of dishes while disregarding the insides which are full of greed and wickedness’. The meaning of His message was that Pharisees tithe on mint, rue, and garden herbs, but they neglect justice and the love of God.

Matthew 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others.

Luke 11:42

“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.