ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Every Hebrew had a certain portion of land assigned to him as a possession (Num. 26:33-56). In Egypt, the lands all belonged to the king, and the husbandmen were obliged to give him a fifth part of the produce; so in Israel, Jehovah was the sole possessor of the soil, and the people held it by direct tenure from him.
By the enactment of Moses, the Hebrews paid a tithe of the produce to Jehovah, which was assigned to the priesthood. Military service, when required, was also to be rendered by every Hebrew at his own expense.