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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Tax Taxing Taxation

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Tax, Taxing, Taxation. Luke 2:1-2, R. V. "enroll, enrollment." 1 Kings 10:28-29. The Israelites were expected to pay, in their earlier history, sacred offerings which were connected with their religious services. From them the priests and Levites, and in a measure the poor, were to be maintained. To these must be added the capitation tax to be paid when a census of the people was taken. Exodus 30:11-16. This, however, was but occasional—yet see perhaps some traces of it in 2 Kings 12:4; 2 Chronicles 24:6-9; but it formed the basis of the annual impost agreed to after the captivity, Nehemiah 10:32-33, then the third of a shekel, but afterwards a half-shekel, Matthew 17:24; Matthew 17:27, levied on all Jews wheresoever they resided. On the establishment of kingly government additional burdens were necessarily laid upon the nation—as for Solomon's great works, 1 Kings 12:4, and when foreign enemies required large sums as fines or annual tribute. 2 Kings 15:19-20; 2 Kings 17:4; 2 Kings 23:33-35. Under the Persian government, after the return from Babylon, there was a regular system of taxation, to which doubtless the provinces of the empire generally were subjected. Three branches are enumerated, from which, however, the priests and sacred classes were specially exempted, "toll, tribute, and custom," Ezra 4:13; Ezra 7:24, probably implying direct money payments, excise, and tolls by travellers at bridges, fords, etc. The Jews had also to defray the charges of the governor by supplying his table, and by a money payment. This Nehemiah when in office did not exact. Nehemiah 5:14-15. The Egyptian and Syrian kings imposed yet more oppressive taxes. In later tunes it appears that, though relief was sometimes granted, direct tribute, duties on salt, crown taxes, and a certain proportion of the produce of fruit trees, and corn land, with a tax on cattle were ordinarily required. 1 Maccabees 10:29-31; 1 Maccabees 11:34-35; 1 Maccabees 13:39. When Judea was made a Roman province the taxes were systematically farmed, and publicans were stationed through the country. There were the duties to be paid at harbors, and the gates of cities, a poll-tax, and perhaps a kind of property tax. Mark 12:14-15; Romans 13:6-7. These imposts were regarded with great jealousy, as paid to a foreign power. There was also a house tax in Jerusalem, remitted by Agrippa I. Josephus' Ant. 19:6, 3. For the taxing or registration in order to taxation, said to be conducted by Cyrenius, Luke 2:1-2, see Cyrenius. There was another at a later period. Acts 5:37.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Tax Taxing Taxation'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/t/tax-taxing-taxation.html. 1893.

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