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Tributary Taxes (Jizyah) in the Bible's Old Testament:
The following is an email that I received from Mr. Ronald Jefferson; may Allah Almighty continue to bless him through leading him to Islam. Ameen.Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 19:43:42 -0700 (PDT)
there any Old Testament Equivalent to the Islamic Tributary Tax (Jizya)
of conquered lands?
When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, [even] all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these nations. -- Deu 20:10-15
 Chavel 1967, v.I, 200f. The Bible references are Deuteronomy 20.
This obligation is commented by Rabbi Chavel:
"This Commandment ... will be better understood in the light of the following passage from the 'Mishneh Torah': '
We are not to engage in war with anyone whatever unless we [first] proclaim peace to him; [this is applicable to both] an optional and an obligatory war; for it is said, When thou drawest nigh a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it (Deut XX, 10).
If [the inhabitants] accept the offer of peace... we are not to slay a soul among them, and they merely become tributary, for it is said, [All the people ... therein] shall become tributary unto thee, and shall serve thee'." (Ibid.)
Step 1 --- Give them the option of peace
Step 2 ---- If they want to keep their religion, they must pay the Tribute (Head Tax)
Step 3 ---- If they deny the above two options then kill them all or enslave them.
In other words, if the city's inhabitants object to being subdued/enslaved, they have to be slain nevertheless. Also sparing their life directly contradicts Negative Commandment 49 (see note ).
"We must not make a covenant with idolaters, to agree on keeping peace with them or accept them practising idolatry, because it says (Deut 7:2) Thou shalt not make a covenant with them. Either they give up idolatry or they are killed. And it is forbidden to pity them, since it says (ibid.): Nor shalt thou shew mercy unto them.
Jizyah in Islam.
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Is the Jizya Tax Oppressive?
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