Foundations of Law I

Property


God told man to have dominion over the earth. Genesis 1.

  • God gives man title to property with respect to other people, but He gives the responsibility of stewardship with respect to God.
    • Man has delegated authority to exercise prudent dominion over property.
    • Man cannot have superior title to God.
  • Property that is not subdued remains God’s, but with the authority for one to subdue it.

God owns all things. Genesis 14; Psalm 50; Psalm 24; Colossians 1.

Commandments against stealing and coveting. Exodus 20.

Proverbs 31 woman.

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus said to give to the hungry, thirsty, naked, and poor. Matthew 25.

Jesus said to "lend, hoping for nothing again" in Luke 6.

Ananias and Sapphira were killed for lying about giving all their profit. Acts 5.

Property is given by God.

  • Job 1:21
    And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blackstone on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • Genesis 1, the dominion mandate.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to the land “in common to all.”
  • Why personal property?
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • First taker: 1st to occupy or possess gave the original right to permanent property ownership
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is a creature of civil or municipal laws.
    • It is not a natural right.
Kent on Property
    • Foundation of Property ownership
      • Genesis 1, the dominion mandate.
    • Title to man?
      • Disagreed with Blackstone; God did not give man title to property “in common to all.”
    • Why personal property?
      • The Law of Nature (not necessity) gave rise to personal property.
      • It is a natural right.
    • How does one lay claim to property?
      • First taker: 1st to occupy or possess gave the original right to permanent property ownership.
    • Right to transfer personal property?
      • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Locke on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • The Bible.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to the land “in common to all.”
  • Why personal property?
    • It was made for man, and it is no use to man unless he can lay some exclusive claim to it.
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • By adding labor to it.
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Bible on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • The Bible.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to property with respect to other persons.
    • God gave man stewardship to property with respect to Him.
  • Why personal property?
    • To fulfill the dominion mandate.
    • It is a natural right.
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • By “subduing” it.
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Inheritance

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

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.

Tax
Head Tax

Israel had a head tax.

The head tax was collected at the temple, but the temple was both the civil and the ecclesiastical center of Israel.

The throne of God was in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

The Sanhedrin met there for civil duties.

Thus, the head tax was for the protection of the civil government.

The head tax was imposed equally—the rich and the poor paid the same. Exodus 30:15.

The head tax was a fixed amount that was small enough for the poor to pay. The civil government cannot interfere with people's responsibilities to their families or the church.

The head tax supported the civil order, not the social order.

Tithes

Israel had a 10% social tithe. Leviticus 27; Numbers 18.

Israel had a 3⅓% poor tithe. Deuteronomy 14; Deuteronomy 26.

These tithes only applied to income or increase. There was no tax on those who did not have profit that year.

All with income paid the tithes, investing themselves in the social order.

These tithes were mandatory, but the state did not control them. It was up to the individual to bring them.

The tithes supported the social order, not the civil order. This gave the people control over the social order.

King Saul imposed a tyrannical tax system. 1 Samuel 8.

The Bible is unclear on whether Israel's tax system is binding on all other nations. However, because the system was created by God, it cannot be unjust. Therefore, there are some principles about proper taxation that can be gleaned from Israel’s tax system.

Estate Tax

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.

Property Tax

Property taxes are probably not valid.

God owns all land. Psalm 24.

God alone has jurisdiction over the land.

There was no land tax in Israel.

God warned Israel that tyrants take the people's land. 1 Samuel 8.

Income Tax

Income taxes may or may not be valid.

Israel's tithes were income taxes, but were a fixed percentage and brought by the tither, not collected by the government.