"cross over" in Exodus

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Thu Mar 29 09:19:51 EST 2001

> "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur at nyx.net> writes and asks: "Thanks for the reply
> and the good insights.  As often happens, the answer to one question gives
> rise to yet another question.  Does this suggest that the half-shekel tax
> was only levied on eligible soldiers?  I've always been under the impression
> that everybody was required to pay it, soldiers or not.  Have I
> misunderstood
> something?"
> ************************************
> Charles David Isbell writes:
> Thanks for the kind words, Dave, and how right you are that one answer often
> leads to more questions.  In this case, I think your initial impression is
> correct, and that all families were included in the taxing.  If I remember
> correctly, Josephus mentions this and ties the tax to all males over twenty
> years of age including those outside of the land of Israel.

Okay, that makes sense.  Now I'm wondering how that ties in with 
the language of levying an army in the Exodus passage.  And so it 

> Nehemiah 10 seems to support this idea, giving a list of people including
> far more than mere soldiers [vv 28-29] who accepted upon themselves the
> obligation to pay an annual sum of one-third of a sheqel for the Temple [vv
> 32-33].
> Perhaps I might add, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that this information may be
> of little value, given the most recent assured results of the new historical
> time lines.  Josephus, writing from Rome in the first century, would have
> been copied by the pseudonymous Nehemiah much later than that, leading to
> the conclusion that Nehemiah was probably an early Christian bishop in Rome
> who was really talking about the Christian tithe.

I'm glad you said tongue-in-cheek.  Assured?  Not hardly.  My own 
view is, if you buy that stuff as "assured" then I've got some prime 
swampland on Mars that I'll sell you, cheap ;-)

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis

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