the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) Royal officials in Israel have the general title
(2) The early kings do not seem to have subjected the people to heavy taxes, but we find much in the prophets about the injustice and extortion practiced by these officials on the poor of the land (compare Amos 2:6 , Amos 2:7; Isaiah 5:8; Jeremiah 5:28; Micah 3:11 ). Special taxes seem to have been imposed to meet emergencies (compare 2 Kings 23:35 ), but it is not clear that anything of the nature of a regular land tax, or property tax, existed in early times; though something of the kind may be referred to in the reward promised by Saul to the slayer of Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25 ) and the tenth mentioned in 1 Samuel 8:15-17 . The kings of Judah, it would seem, made free use of the temple treasures.
(3) Later the Roman government "farmed out" the taxes of the provinces. The publicans, or tax-gatherers of the Gospels, seem to have been agents of the imperial procurator of Judea, instead of direct agents of the great Roman financial companies, who ordinarily let out the business of the collection of the taxes to officers of their own.
During the Empire there was ample imperial machinery provided for the regular collection of the taxes, and the emperor appointed a procurator in each province whose business it was to supervise the collection of revenue. Some Jews found the business profitable, but these were objects of detestation to their countrymen. See PUBLICAN .
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Assessor'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​isb/​a/assessor.html. 1915.