Foundations of Law I


In Israel's system of inheritance:

  • The eldest son received double portion. (Deuteronomy 12:15-17)
  • If there were no sons, daughters were allowed to inherit the father's land. (Numbers 27:8)
  • If there were no direct heirs, then the next of kin would inherit. (Numbers 27:9-11)
  • Land could not pass to another tribe.

Blackstone believed inheritance is a creature of the state and they can regulate anything about it.

Locke, Kent, and Prof. Martins believe Inheritance is a right under LONANG as part of the right ot own private property in the first place. Therefore, the civil government should not be able to tax or take inherited property, although the owner may devise it upon his death as the right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.

Estate Tax

Prof. Martins believes estate taxes are probably not valid, as inheritance is a natural right that was presupposed in Israel.

God gave Israel the land as an inheritance. Joshua 1.

God gave the promised land to individual families. Joshua 14.

It was normal that children inherited from their parents. Numbers 27.

Property is given in the context of family in Genesis 1.

The civil magistrate in Israel was prohibited from taking the people’s inheritance. Ezekiel 46.

There was no estate tax in Israel.

The Bible gives jurisdiction to the family to care for the elderly, not to the federal government like with Medicare and Social Security.

Parents need to store up for their children. 2 Corinthians 12.

Children need to honor parents by caring for them in their older days. Mark 7.