DID THOSE RECEIVING THE TITHE WORK FULL TIME AT THE TEMPLE?
Many have been taught that the Levites and priests worked at the Temple full time. This is not correct.
Numbers 35:1-3 (KJV)
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
2 Command the children of Israel, that they give unto the Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to dwell in; and ye shall give also unto the Levites suburbs for the cities round about them.
3 And the cities shall they have to dwell in; and the suburbs of them shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts.
In Numbers 35:1-3 we learn that even though the Levites could not own land, the were given, rent free, cities to live in, and suburbs to raise cattle. This is also verified in Joshua 21:1-8.
Closely related to the Levitical cities is the fact that both priests and Levites had been divided by King David into 24 courses consisting of several houses, or families, per course. See First Chronicles 24 for the priests and chapters 25 and 26 for the Levites. Each course only ministered in the Temple one week out of twenty four (1 in 24), and, depending on how many families were in each course, each family only ministered in the Temple two or three days during its courses' week of ministry.
Therefore, the Levites and Levitical priests only worked at the Temple about two weeks a year on a rotational basis.