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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(prop. מִס, φόρος ), an impost which one prince or state agrees, or is compelled, to pay to another, as the purchase of peace or in token of dependence.. In the Scriptures we find three forms of this requirement. (See TAX).

I. Native. The Hebrews acknowledged no other sovereign than-God; and in Exodus 30:12; Exodus 30:15, we find they' were required to pay tribute unto the Lord, to give an offering of half a shekel to "make an atonement for their souls." The native kings and judges of the Hebrews did not exact tribute. Solomon, indeed, at the beginning of his reign, levied tribute from the Canaanites and others who remained in the land and were not of Israel, and compelled them to hard servitude (1 Kings 9:21-23; 2 Chronicles 8:9); but the children of Israel were exempted from that impost, and employed in the more honorable departments and offices of his kingdom. Towards the end of his reign, however, he appears to have imposed tribute upon the Jews also, and to have compelled them to work upon the public buildings (1 Kings 5:13-14; 1 Kings 9:15; 1 Kings 11:27). This had the effect of gradually alienating their minds, and of producing that discontent which afterwards resulted in open revolt under Jeroboam, son of Nebat. "Thy father made our yoke grievous," said the Israelites to Rehoboam; "now, therefore, make thou the grievous service of thy father and his heavy yoke which he put upon us lighter, and we will serve thee" (1 Kings 12:4). (See ASSESSMENT).

II. Foreign. The Israelites were at various times subjected to heavy taxes and tributes by their conquerors. After Judaea was reduced to a, Roman province, a new poll of the people and an estimate of their substance were taken, by command of Augustus, in order that he might more correctly regulate the tribute to be exacted (Joseph us, Anq. 17:15). This was a capitation-tax levied at so much a head, and imposed upon all males from fourteen, and all females from twelve, up to sixty-five years of age (Ulpian, Digest. de Censib. lib. 3; Fischer, De Numism. Census). (See TAXING)


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tribute'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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