Malachi indeed assumes that the " whole tithe " - the Deuteronomic phrase for the tithe in which the Levites shared - is not stored in each township, but brought into the treasury at the Temple.
In the Persian period the tithe was converted to the use of the Temple (Mal.
After this the island began to furnish con siderable supplies of corn; it was treated as a conquered country, not containing a single free city, and the inhabitants were obliged to pay a tithe in corn and a further money contribution.
The tithe had been replaced by an export tax on exported agricultural produce levied at the custom-houses, and the smaller peasant proprietors and shepherds of the mountainous districts were practically exempt from any contribution to the state.
Produce the impression that it was not introduced for the first time by Ezra and Nehemiah, though the collection of the tithe was enforced by them.