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Taxes

TAXES. Charges imposed by governments, either political or ecclesiastical, on the persons or the properties of their members or subjects. In the nomadic period taxes were unknown to the Hebrews. Voluntary presents were given to chieftains in return for protection. The conquered Canaanites were forced to render labor (Josh.16.10; Josh.17.13; Judg.1.28-Judg.1.35). Under the theocracy of Israel every man paid a poll tax of a half-shekel for the support of the tabernacle worship (Exod.30.13; Exod.38.25-Exod.38.26), and this was the only fixed tax. It was equal for rich and poor (Exod.30.15). Under the kings, as Samuel had warned the people (1Sam.8.11-1Sam.8.18), heavy taxes were imposed. They amounted to a tithe of the crops and of the flocks besides the forced military service and other services that were imposed. In the days of Solomon, because of his great building program (the magnificent temple, the king’s palaces, thousands of stables for chariot horses, the navy, etc.), the burden