ReNEWed COVENANT Ministry
SABBATH BIBLE STUDY
Compiled by JS LOWTHER
(continuation from: A Community of Election and Order)
Of Whom Do Kings Exact Custom and Census?
Honor (value) thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which YHWH thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head,
and honor the face of the old man/ Presbyter (πρεσβυτερων),
and fear thy God: I am YHWH.
(G4245 Presbyter: (elderly); older, old one)
Last week we covered a very seldom read part of our Israelite history and an uncomfortable chapter in the Law of God for many people who think according to a 21st century paradigm, Num chapter 31.
The purpose in reading this chapter was not to rub it in the face of modern day thinking, but to show the place of where tribute and tax came from in the Lawful Government as God shows it to be, in the reality God’s law directs his covenant people to utilize for our profitable doctrine, our reproof, for our correction, for our instruction in righteousness: That the men of God may be perfect equipped and thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
And so The who purpose for looking at this part of Church Government was to show and support the Tribal and family based Nation and Kingdom Christendom is to have in times of Peace and in times of war.
And this look at offensive warfare was also a look at the where and how tribute or tax was taken in the biblical model- it was taken of the defeated enemies of God and His People.
Someone may say, but this is not the Christian model, civilized Government would never look at Num_31:28 which says, And levy a tribute / tax ( Rom_13:7 ) unto the LORD of (1)the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred (1/500th), both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep: as the answer for Romans 13 statement as is want to be spoken of by Christians when speaking of Government. Beside this verse in the Greek LXX only Lev_27:23 which is in regard to dedicating a field to a holy use for the Levites, and thus a fee for the use of that field, which is in no regards a tax as it deals with Government matters, So then the only way to answer the question as to what the Greek word Telos the KJV custom, or ESV revenue or ABP tax, is to mean has this provable context as to where Customs or taxes are to come from, and that is from the telos / tribute of the KJV Num 31:28.
The Government that is due a thing is a servant to a master; we find this in the law of God concerning a kinsman who redeems another, and one of his brothers. This is instance of paying ones due in labor and in what is borrowed of another. As well we have read most assuredly, of the quorban and offers that were due,
For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom_13:7 Render (give a way /αποδοτε G591) therefore to all their dues /debts / owed G3782:
Here is one place in the law where the word οφειλα translated in the KJV ‘dues’ is translated in respect to giving a ‘due or a debt’:
Deu_15:2 And this is the ordinance of the release: thou shalt remit every private debt which thy neighbour owes G3782 thee, and thou shalt not ask payment of it from thy brother; for it has been called a release to the Lord thy God.
Deu 15:3 Of a stranger thou shalt ask again whatsoever he has of thine, but to thy brother thou shalt remit his debt to thee.
Deu 15:4 For thus there shall not be a poor person in the midst of thee, for the Lord thy God will surely bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God gives thee by inheritance, that thou shouldest inherit it.
Deu 15:5 And if ye shall indeed hearken to the voice of the Lord your God, to keep and do all these commandments, as many as I charge thee this day,
Deu 15:6 (for the Lord thy God has blessed thee in the way of which he spoke to thee,)then thou shalt lend to many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over thee.
Deu 15:7 And if there shall be in the midst of thee a poor man of thy brethren in one of thy cities in the land, which the Lord thy God gives thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, neither shalt thou by any means close up thine hand from thy brother who is in want.
Deu 15:8 Thou shalt surely open thine hands to him, and shalt lend to him as much as he wants according to his need.
Deu 15:9 Take heed to thyself that there be not a secret thing in thine heart, an iniquity, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, draws nigh; and thine eye shall be evil to thy brother that is in want, and thou shalt not give to him, and he shall cry against thee to the Lord, and there shall be great sin in thee.
Deu 15:10 Thou shalt surely give to him, and thou shalt lend him as much as he wants, according as he is in need; and thou shalt not grudge in thine heart as thou givest to him, because on this account the Lord thy God will bless thee in all thy works, and in all things on which thou shalt lay thine hand.
Deu 15:11 For the poor shall not fail off thy land, therefore I charge thee to do this thing, saying, Thou shalt surely open thine hands to thy poor brother, and to him that is distressed upon thy land.
Deu 15:12 And if thy brother or sister, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, be sold to thee, he shall serve thee six years, and in the seventh year thou shalt send him out free from thee.
Deu 15:13 And when thou shalt send him out free from thee, thou shalt not send him out empty.
Deu 15:14 Thou shalt give him provision for the way from thy flock, and from thy corn, and from thy wine; as the Lord thy God has blessed thee, thou shalt give to him.
So notice this, when we are speaking in strictly defined way the dues or debts are in the context of what is owed at law for a course of 6 years, this is in regards to kinsman redemption and in regards to the master servant relationship. A Hebrew servant or an Israelite servant or a tribal brother or a kindred neighbor that is near or within your units, as a Christian is admonished to always pay his dues, his debt , and in context the Brotherly master is required to forgive debts when the year of release is complete and send his neighbor or brother home with provisions and blessing for his service. But from what the contexts speaks of with lawful definition, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. ”
custom to whom custom: this is the Phoros G5411 tax
Hear are a few examples:
LXX Jdg 1:28 And it came to pass when Israel was strong, that he made the Chananite tributary G5411 , but did not utterly drive them out.
1Ki_12:18 And the king sent Adoniram who was over the tribute G5411 ; and they stoned him with stones, and he died: and king Roboam made haste to rise to flee to Jerusalem.
Again, of whom do the kings of the earth pay tribute and census?
Well, we see what happens when the kings men attempted to collect tribute of the son’s as if they were strangers at this time in Israel’s history. And it is importantly noted that
1Ki_9:20-22 says 1Ki 9:20 And all the people that were left of the Canaanites which were not of the children of Israel, 1Ki 9:21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bond service unto this day. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.
So even this tribute, where in the strangers were compelled to serve tribute was part of the refusal leading to Adonorams stoning.
But in this case, one who is under tribute is to give his tribute as a conquered captive, as a bondservant. this is Lawful: “tribute to whom tribute is due”
The “telos” – tax, the tribute, this is the amount given of the war that is due by law to the Sanctuary.
This is our numbers 31 example, the telos of soles taken in combat or it’s worth, given to the episcope of the host the head father that rules in the military unit.
fear to whom fear –
I think this is an easily summarized statement, that fear those whom the God you fear has set over you, specifically as
(Lev 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. )
And what of honourG5092 to whom honour is due?
Interestingly enough this word ti-m-ay is the word used to speak of value in the Law, in making an estimation of value , and thus the word is often translated value, an honest value. And it is because of all the words before it and this word in the lawful context of Lev_27:1-34, that I believe the most sense can be made of all of these ‘dues’ or debts in terms of vows, dedications, tithes and all such things owed. That this final word ti-m-ay translated honor could in fact render the whole of the other statements understood best in the Lev_27:1 context, that is that Act_5:2
Rom_13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Lets also consider the lesson taught by the Lord Jesus on this matter of taxation to Simon Peter the disciple fisherman, concerning the Israelite concept of taxation, as was seen in some of what we read above.
Mat_17:24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?”
Mat 17:25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?”
Mat 17:26 And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.
Mat 17:27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
The Rule of Law says that the Sons of Israel are to give the half shekel, or in this verse the two-drachma tax, this is the silver to be given by the voluntary submission of a son to a father and his father’s house , remember?
It is obvious that the tax hear spoken of is the ‘poll tax’ of Exo_30:12, this can as well be comprehended in 17:25 as the KJV word tribute? G2778 is the Latin Greek word Kensos or as we say it today ‘Census’ which meant what it means now as it did in Rome and in Rome’s ancestors, the Israelites law in Exo_30:12 from where they got their standard which was distorted:
“the sum of the children of Israel after their number… every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary”,
but the Romans in their civil taking of the Census did not apply this tax as did biblical law because they were apostate, rather they reapplied the Law as follows according to
Noah Webster :
” In ancient Rome, an authentic declaration made before the censors, by the citizens, of their names and places of abode. This declaration was registered, and contained an enumeration of all their lands and estates, their quantity and quality, with the wives, children, domestics, tenants, and slaves of each citizen. Hence the word signifies this enumeration or register, a man’s whole substance, and the tax imposed according to each mans property.”
Notice this census is not done before the Tabernacle, because Rome had no Tabernacle, they had a state which was a tyrant vested with the godhead of the Nation of the people and the empire, had a combination of ‘sanctuary and state’ in the eyes of the people in Caesar – a god man to be deified and worshiped.
So who does Caesar appoint to take the Census?
According to what we read, the ‘Censor’, defined thus:
“An officer, in ancient Rome, whose business was to register the effects of the citizens, to impose taxes according to the property which each man possessed, and to inspect the manners of the citizens, with power to censure vice and immorality, by inflicting a public mark of ignominy on the offender.”
Do you then see the next related word? ‘Censure’?
An inspector of ” the manners of the citizens, with power to censure vice and immorality, by inflicting a public mark”.
This is the Roman priest of the State godhead.
In the apostate form the law of God, that is when it is not scrupulously followed according to the Law given to Moses as it is applied to Government, the slightest change results in the reversal of freedom to tyranny, from son to stranger.
Notice: The Law of Israel in Judea had been slightly changed by the abandonment or disregard of the voluntary status of giving so that “they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay (the tax of ) tribute (two-drachmas LXX of Exo 30:13 says two-drachum) ?
The Half shekel law or the socalled ‘poll tax’, was voluntary, given to the Head of the unite of 10 who gave it to his head and eventually ‘ended’ (telos) in the sanctuary, which was not an end but to the purpose of supporting national worship.
But this is not what Jesus world looked like, his world was full of ‘traditions of the elders’ not the rule of law, but a sad rule of tradition and thus we notice the inconsistency in Peters response to the payment from that of his mater Christ.
And So Peter, not a master of the Law contradicts Jesus, while Jesus the master teaches the lesson of the defense in Law between Numbers 31 and Exodus 30, saying,
What do you think, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take Custom or Census? of their own children, or of strangers?
Mat 17:26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
Mat_17:27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
(and for the record the money found was a stator was the equal silver weight called a shekel)
Such a simple lesson that is so hard to get Jesus teaches in the form of a question.
How often do we hear Christians propagate a tax that is take and not given? Well, every time we see that, every time we hear that from a Christian, this is what should be remembered, this is the question to ask yourself: “of whom do the kings of the earth take tribute or Census? of their own children, or of strangers?” the biblical answer “Of strangers”
Jesus lesson to resound in our ears, Then are the children free.
When strangers are forced to pay tribute, then the children of the Land are free, then the children of the kingdom are free, but when it is reverses the children of the kingdom are the strangers.
The Judge of a Godly society is balanced in knowing this concept, Children pay the patriarchy and headship above them by honor, obedience and value, because we value our parentage and our Sanctuary we give, not because a king levies a fee and enforces payment, but because we are children of the kingdom in fact, and our king’s law is in our heart.
This was and is the full lesson in our day and age of all that we have discussed, much more can be added to it, much more can be elaborated on it. But this I want to leave off on.
Regardless of if you agree with me or not on how this system comes up to us out of the law of God, here is the gist of the matter, this is the type of Government the children of the kingdom are to desire to live under.
It was such a desire, that while I do not agree with their system because of it’s interference with reassignment of what is God’s, as pertaining to the Sanctuary, and giving it to the state in certain capacities a centure was rather created, but because the land originally was untaxed, and the only tax was on commercial items and exise up on the commercial strangers to the land, their system understood the danger of making the citizen subject to the state, because it rendered them strangers.
So our Christian aim is :
1. a support of the Law of God in returning back to a patriarchal voluntary poll tax of Sons from 20 years old an upward that are able to go forth to war in Christian families and churches. To see those family churches become godly forces of good, well equipped for the tasks ahead in kingdom building.
2. Remember and institute the voluntary and free will offering of what God has given each of us to kingdom uses and ministers, those seeking to build a biblical system as the rule of God’s Law alone dictates. The Samuels, Pauls and sons of the prophets of our day; Not to those seeking to self promote, but to those devoted to a cause to see Israel’s family churches prosper under God’s Law and magisterium of Patriarchy, under the Headships of Fathers and Grandfathers, Uncles and Presbyters, in the Establishment of the Episcopate Government we are meant to have.
3. And to remember the lesson of Not being a stumbling block to those who are ignorant to God’s law, especially those who are learnedly ignorant of the lawful context.
That is, we must consider that in Simon Peter’s day he assumed that the Lord supported the tax and census as it was being used by the collectors, but he was wrong. Peter had the mentality of a stranger to his own ethnic nation, while having the jurisprudence and justice of the law of God to answer the question rightly, while the collectors at Capernaum did not.
In fact the collectors or censors would have most likely believed by their pseudo-lawful practices that they were “doing God’s work”, ‘enforcing his Law’ in fact by collecting and exacting the half shekel according to the law. But as our LORD teaches us, we are not to be an offense on this wise (I am not extending this out any further than the concept goes) but that the Lord tells us that he will provide all our needs by his providence when we are seeking to not cause brothers to stubble (Such as in the case of a church that believes tithe is due to the ‘church’ or pastor , which I do not condone because it is not lawful , pay the tithe as a freewill offering and do not over though the whole church and stumble them on such a matter at this time.)