|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
A tax imposed by the Romans. The tax-gatherers were termed publicans (q.v.), who had their stations at the gates of cities, and in the public highways, and at the place set apart for that purpose, called the "receipt of custom" (Matthew 9: 9; Mark 2:14), where they collected the money that was to be paid on certain goods (Matthew 17:25). These publicans were tempted to exact more from the people than was lawful, and were, in consequence of their extortions, objects of great hatred. The Pharisees would have no intercourse with them (Matthew 5:46, 47; 9:10, 11).
A tax or tribute (q.v.) of half a shekel was annually paid by every adult Jew for the temple. It had to be paid in Jewish coin (Matthew 22:17-19; Mark 12:14, 15). Money-changers (q.v.) were necessary, to enable the Jews who came up to Jerusalem at the feasts to exchange their foreign coin for Jewish money; but as it was forbidden by the law to carry on such a traffic for emolument (Deuteronomy 23:19, 20), our Lord drove them from the temple (Matthew 21:12 Mark 11:15).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) Frequent repetition of the same act; way of acting common to many; ordinary manner; habitual practice; usage; method of doing or living.
2. (n.) Habitual buying of goods; practice of frequenting, as a shop, manufactory, etc., for making purchases or giving orders; business support.
3. (n.) Long-established practice, considered as unwritten law, and resting for authority on long consent; usage. See Prescription.
4. (n.) Familiar aquaintance; familiarity.
5. (v. t.) To make familiar; to accustom.
6. (v. t.) To supply with customers.
7. (v. i.) To have a custom.
8. (n.) The customary toll, tax, or tribute.
9. (n.) Duties or tolls imposed by law on commodities, imported or exported.
10. (v. t.) To pay the customs of.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(a) halakh, Ezra 4:13, 10; Ezra 7:24 the King James Version;
(b) belo, Ezra 4:13, etc.;
(c) telonion, Matthew 9:9 Mark 2:14 Luke 5:27, "receipt of custom" the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "place of toll," the collectors' office;
(d) telos, Matthew 17:25 (the Revised Version (British and American) "toll"); Romans 13:7; 1 Maccabees 11:35 (the Revised Version (British and American) "tolls"; compare 1 Maccabees 10:31).
The tax designated by halakh in Ezra 4:13, etc., is usually taken to mean a road tax, a toll, from root halakh, but compare Winckler, Altorientalische Forschungen, II, 463, which derives from root ilku, a command, a decree, hence, an imposed tax. Belo from root yabhal is supposed to be a tax on merchandise or produce (as distinguished from "tribute" or the tax on houses, lands and persons), usually paid in kind and levied for the support of the native or provincial government. See Ryle, Cambridge Bible, Ezra-Nehemiah, in the place cited Telos in New Testament and Maccabees is an indirect tax farmed out to the publicans.
Walter R. Betteridge
kus'-tum (usage): In the Old Testament, except, Genesis 31:35 where the Revised Version (British and American) renders, better, "manner" (derekh, "way"), the words translated "custom" are choq, chuqqah, "statute," and mishpaT, "judgment." Such passages as Judges 11:39 Jeremiah 32:11, and especially Ezra 3:4 (the King James Version "custom," the Revised Version (British and American) "ordinance"), illustrate the difficulty of deciding upon the proper translation, in cases where "custom" might become "statute," "usage" establish itself as "law." In Leviticus 18:30 Jeremiah 10:3 the reference is to heathen religious practices.
In the New Testament Luke 1:9; Luke 2:42 Acts 6:14; Acts 15:1 (the King James Version "manner"); Luke 16:21; Luke 21:21 (ethos), and Luke 2:27 from the same Greek root, refer likewise to definitely established religious practices; in every case except Acts 16:21, those of the Jewish law. The Revised Version (British and American) makes the translation of ethos uniform, reading "custom" in Luke 22:39 (the King James Version "wont") and in John 19:40 Acts 25:16 Hebrews 10:25 (the King James Version "manner"). Greek eiothos, from the same root, is rendered "custom" in Luke 4:16 by English Versions of the Bible, and by the Revised Version (British and American) also in Acts 17:2, its only other occurrence in the New Testament. In John 18:39 1 Corinthians 11:16 "custom" is the translation of Greek sunetheia, in the sense of "usage" rather than of "law."
F. K. Farr
RECEIPT OF CUSTOM
Custom (51 Occurrences)
Matthew 9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (KJV WBS)
Matthew 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? (KJV WEY DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Matthew 27:15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired. (Root in WEB WEY DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. (KJV WBS)
Mark 10:1 And rising up thence he comes into the coasts of Judaea, and the other side of the Jordan. And again crowds come together to him, and, as he was accustomed, again he taught them. (Root in DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 1:9 according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law, (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 4:16 He came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. He entered, as was his custom, into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. (KJV WBS)
Luke 22:39 He came out, and went, as his custom was, to the Mount of Olives. His disciples also followed him. (WEB ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV)
John 2:6 Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece. (See NAS)
John 18:39 But you have a custom, that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Therefore do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 19:40 So they took Jesus' body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. (WEB ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can't be saved." (WEB WEY ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where it was the custom for prayer to be, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had assembled. (DBY)
Acts 17:2 Paul, as was his custom, went in to them, and for three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures, (WEB WEY ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 25:16 To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. (WEB WEY ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Romans 13:7 Give therefore to everyone what you owe: taxes to whom taxes are due; customs to whom customs; respect to whom respect; honor to whom honor. (Root in WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
1 Corinthians 11:16 But if any man seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither do God's assemblies. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching. (WEB ASV DBY YLT)
Genesis 19:31 The firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. (See NIV)
Genesis 29:26 Laban said, "It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn. (See NIV)
Genesis 31:35 And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images. (KJV WBS)
Genesis 40:13 yet, within three days doth Pharaoh lift up thy head, and hath put thee back on thy station, and thou hast given the cup of Pharaoh into his hand, according to the former custom when thou wast his butler. (YLT NAS)
Exodus 21:9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. (See NAS)
Judges 8:24 Gideon said to them, "I would make a request of you, that you would give me every man the earrings of his spoil." (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) (See NIV)
Judges 11:39 It happened at the end of two months, that she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel, (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 13:12 And Manoah saith, 'Now let thy words come to pass; what is the custom of the youth -- and his work?' (YLT)
Ruth 4:7 Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man took off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. (WEB JPS ASV DBY NAS RSV)
1 Samuel 2:13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Samuel 8:9 And now, hearken to their voice; only, surely thou dost certainly protest to them, and hast declared to them the custom of the king who doth reign over them.' (YLT)
1 Samuel 8:11 and saith, 'This is the custom of the king who doth reign over you: Your sons he doth take, and hath appointed for himself among his chariots, and among his horsemen, and they have run before his chariots; (YLT)
1 Samuel 27:11 And David left neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, for he said, Lest they should tell of us, saying, So did David. And such was his custom as long as he abode in the country of the Philistines. (DBY YLT RSV)
2 Samuel 7:19 This was yet a small thing in your eyes, Lord Yahweh; but you have spoken also of your servant's house for a great while to come; and this after the manner of men, Lord Yahweh! (See NAS)
1 Kings 18:28 They cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. (See NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 11:14 And she looked, and behold, the king stood on the dais, according to the custom, and the princes and the trumpeters were by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets. And Athaliah rent her garments and cried, Conspiracy! Conspiracy! (DBY NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 17:26 And they speak to the king of Asshur, saying, 'The nations that thou hast removed, and dost place in the cities of Samaria, have not known the custom of the God of the land, and He sendeth among them the lions, and lo, they are destroying them, as they do not know the custom of the God of the land.' (YLT NAS)
2 Kings 17:27 And the king of Asshur commandeth, saying, 'Cause to go thither one of the priests whom ye removed thence, and they go and dwell there, and he doth teach them the custom of the God of the land.' (YLT NAS)
2 Kings 17:33 Jehovah they are fearing, and their gods they are serving, according to the custom of the nations whence they removed them. (YLT NAS NIV)
2 Kings 17:40 And they did not hearken, but did after their former customs. (Root in DBY YLT NAS)
2 Chronicles 30:16 And they stood in their place after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood receiving it from the hand of the Levites. (DBY NAS RSV)
Ezra 3:4 They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required; (KJV WBS)
Ezra 4:13 Be it known now to the king that if this city is built, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful to the kings. (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ezra 4:20 There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all the country beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid to them. (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Ezra 7:24 Also we inform you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, on them. (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT RSV)
Esther 1:13 Then the king said to the wise men, who knew the times, (for it was the king's custom to consult those who knew law and judgment; (WEB NAS NIV)
Esther 9:23 The Jews accepted the custom that they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them; (WEB)
Esther 9:27 the Jews established, and imposed on themselves, and on their descendants, and on all those who joined themselves to them, so that it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to what was written, and according to its appointed time, every year; (See NAS NIV)
Job 1:5 It was so, when the days of their feasting had run their course, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts." Job did so continually. (See NIV)
Jeremiah 32:11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open: (KJV ASV WBS YLT)