"In the reign of Augustus and his successors, duties were imposed on every kind of merchandise, which through a thousand channels flowed to the great centre of opulence and luxury; and in whatsoever manner the law was expressed, it was the Roman purchaser, and not the provincial merchant, who paid the tax.” - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 1 (Edward Gibbon) Foot Note 114 Tacit. Annal. xiii. 31. (The Annals (Latin: Annales) by Roman historian and senator Tacitus is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14-68.)There goes the idea that it was not a consumption tax, and the "head tax" was NOT a direct tax paid my ordinary people.Head tax was simple a tribute based on the population, paid by local government to Rome. A tribute tax could also be demanded for payment without regards to a census. Merchants paid local governments to get access to their markets, and the cost of that access was passed on to the consumer. Why do you think city gates are such a big deal in the Bible? They were choke point used to control access, both for security as well as points of taxation. Gates housed both ruling elders who settle disputes and well has the brute squads to enforce settlements. The head count tax was a simple way gauging how much money you could reasonably expect out of a nation. Nation with larger populations should be able to produce more than smaller nations. In a sense, the head tax was a pro-life tax. Jesus approved of Caesars tribute only because it was covenant tax. Covenants, like contracts, must be freely entered into by two parties, and both parties must delivery consideration. The merchants passed on the cost of access to the markets, you know, the three rules of any small business is location, location, location, and civil authorities delivered a secure location in which business could be conducted as well as in force business law. Why do you think the Bible makes a big deal out defending widows and orphans? In society which male dominated, God was warning Israel not let widows and orphans be pushed around in the market place. “Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. “ - (Isa 10:1-2 NASB)History, scripture, genre are the three basic data points for understanding scripture and William's sermon falls apart based on History. The ability to get individuals to pay taxes came way after the invention of the printing press, and even then you had quarter troops in the home to get the job done right. It was not until pastors in America became ignorant of real History and laid down like dogs around 1916, was a direct tax on people made possible. P.S. The Wars of the Jews by Flavius Josephus backs up the fact the cities and conquered nations paid tributes to Rome based on a census, and it was never collected directly from individuals, but was always apart the market place Without Turbo-Tax and ignorant pastors how do you get a family to pay a tax. Why stir up easily stirred up nation by sending troops around to collect the tax when all you had to do was control choke point to area they needed access to earn a living and let the local brute squad do the collecting, they were collecting it anyway for local government needs. Read the speech Flavius Josephus gave the besieged Jews in City Jerusalem.
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