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Tax

Governments and peoples of all civilizations, ancient and modern, have known taxation and the force of revenue. In general, methods, types of taxation and attitudes toward taxes have not changed. From the extensive list of words used for taxes and tribute in the Bible, one can see that God’s people were also acquainted with taxes. In the Bible one of the early references to taxation is in Egypt during the seven years of plenty when Joseph was authorized by the Pharaoh to levy a large proportion of the grain and store it for the lean years ahead (Gen 41:25-57). The tax rate must have been very high because “Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured” (v. 49). This could be done in Egypt because the Pharaoh was absolute ruler and owned the land (v. 44). King David enforced another type of taxation in the form of tribute from nations and rulers he defeated in war, such as the Philistines, Moabites, and