Easton's Bible Dictionary


One who farmed the taxes (e.g., Zacchaeus, Luke 19:2) to be levied from a town or district, and thus undertook to pay to the supreme government a certain amount. In order to collect the taxes, the publicans employed subordinates (5:27; 15:1; 18:10), who, for their own ends, were often guilty of extortion and peculation. In New Testament times these taxes were paid to the Romans, and hence were regarded by the Jews as a very heavy burden, and hence also the collectors of taxes, who were frequently Jews, were hated, and were usually spoken of in very opprobrious terms. Jesus was accused of being a "friend of publicans and sinners" (Luke 7:34).

Arab. = Abbreviation for "Arabic". Used to denote the Arabic variation of a word.
A.V. = Authorized Version of the Bible; same as King James Version; published in 1611
Gr. = Abbreviation for "Greek". Used to denote the Greek variation of a word.
Heb. = Abbreviation for "Hebrew". Used to denote the Hebrew variation of a word.
Lat. = Abbreviation for "Latin". Used to denote the Latin variation of a word.
LXX = The symbol employed for the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament.
MSS. = Abbreviation for "Manuscripts".
q.v. = Abbreviation for the Latin phrase quod vide 'which see'. It is used to direct a reader to another part of a book for more information.
R.V. = Revised Version of the Bible; published in 1881-1885
source: Matthew George Easton; edited by
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