Sacrilege: Side-Hustles and Non-Living-Wage Work

[1] When I was growing up, I remember hearing the theme song to the popular American television show Cheers proclaim: “Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.” For many people across the world, in wildly different contexts, that sentence rings profoundly, and sadly, true. Humans endure unsustainably long workdays at a single job. Or, more often, people work two or three jobs or multiple side-hustles to make ends meet for themselves and their families. This practice of working long hours, especially when a person shifts between different employers who each expect the employee to show up rested and ready to devote their full attention and strength to the task at hand is draining in every sense; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. The stresses of merely needing to have multiple jobs in order to maintain economic status is injurious to humans, let alone the actual continued performance of those jobs which presents further negative repercussions for humans.[1] Quite simply, economic conditions that force humans into multiple employments are anti-human thriving.

[2] The are many people, professional religious workers and otherwise, who undoubtedly engage in both a main source of employment and another vocation happily and intentionally, and one job enriches the other. I understand these people as intentional multi-vocational workers. Many other humans practice their profession, and also passionately engage in [a]vocational work that they enjoy or provides an important identity, even if it does not provide financial renumeration. For a Biblical example, when Amos was not prophesying, he was a shepherd and orchard worker (Amos 7:14), and this work continued to provide and sustain his identity, even when he was not actively practicing those tasks or deriving income from them. Additionally, there are people who choose to volunteer with charities and non-profits to serve the poor and needy, gladly foregoing a lifestyle-sustaining salary in order to serve an institution that might otherwise be without the meaningful and essential work that they provide. None of these blessed people are my focus in this article.

[3] This article will attempt to speak prophetically to and about the situations of humans who are paid by their employers unsustainable salaries such that they are forced to seek out additional work to support themselves and their families. Analogous situations in which people worked, but not receive sustainable and livable support from their employers had dire consequences for Israel and Judah. A change in agricultural practice led to unsustainable wages for agricultural workers. The prophets were livid at the landowners’ breach of faith with their workers and the created necessity of farm laborers having to essentially work another job. A cynical change in the social economy allowed land-owners to increase their profit margin, but meant that agricultural work no longer provided a sustainable income to those who actually worked the land. Hundreds of years later, forcing people into positions that required side-hustles and extra jobs were flatly prohibited by Jesus and his disciples. Still later, a useful case-study emerges in the writing of the apostle Paul as he contemplates multi-vocational ministry in contexts that cannot support a professional ministry leader, and then in other cases which could support a professional ministry leader, but the employee chooses to forego her or his salary. It is only in the life and ministry of Paul of Tarsus that multi-vocational ministry became an option for professional Christians. Yet, I argue that we see in Paul’s writing that this option is harmful and should be refused whenever possible. In every case, Scripture takes a dim view of requiring multi-vocational work from humans.

[4] Further, in an era of Coronavirus with massive unemployment, “essential workers” are forced to choose between maintaining their employment in unsafe environments or quitting to keep themselves healthy, but then forgoing unemployment benefits in the U.S. Many people are turning to second and third jobs or side-hustles in order to steady themselves for the uncertain financial future. As the U.S. Congress fails to present suitable unemployment relief at the time of this writing, the 30 million unemployed Americans are struggling, trying to create a constellation of part-time jobs that can help keep themselves and their families afloat financially.

[5] In the professional Christian world, when church education professionals and camp staff are the first to feel the sting and humiliation of unemployment in an economic downtown, as in the case of COVID-19, we must ask questions of what “essential” employment really means. If providing safe, loving and gospel-conscious environments for children and youth are important – and I would argue they are the very definition of essential – should not the sustainable remuneration of the trained professionals who provide those environments be just as essential, especially when it is not safe for them to perform their jobs? In other words, it is essential to provide sustainable, living-income for humans at all times, whether they work or not.

[6] I will look at three different contexts across the Biblical eras: prophets, Jesus and his disciples, and Paul of Tarsus, to find striking similar conclusions that the need for non-consensual side-hustles and multi-vocationality is deeply offensive to the God who provides (Gen 22:14) and also is injurious to humans.

Neglecting Terraced Fields: A Path toward Economic Inequality

[7] It is human nature to try and increase wealth and profits.[2] In this, the landed classes of ancient Israel and Judah were no different than the capitalist class of the modern and, indeed, post-modern eras. Seemingly, if a new kind of production can simultaneously increase profits and decrease costs, one would be foolish not to pursue that opportunity. Yet the God of Israel is concerned intimately with the inevitable human costs of such actions. During the times of the prophets Amos, Hosea and Isaiah, God spoke of divine anger at economic systems that produced great wealth for the owners, but also produced poverty and income-inequality for agricultural workers. The forced side-hustles of the period were roundly condemned by God.

[8] Because the Israelites, in their mass migration into Canaan were initially unable to dislodge the stronger Canaanites in the lowland fertile fields, their first settlements and agricultural infrastructure was focused on the highlands, where they deployed on a massive scale an agricultural practice previously little-known in Canaan: terrace farming. This migration pattern and wide-scale introduction of terrace farming is well attested both Biblically (Joshua 17:14-18) and archeologically.[3] Terrace farming was a labor-intensive practice which seems to have only been begun when other more easily cultivated land was unavailable. In addition to initial Israelite settlement before the tribal confederation as still unable to displace Canaanites, and then again at the time when the Northern Kingdom of Israel broke away from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, taking with it most of the arable land, terrace farming seems to have been a practice that was avoided if possible because of how difficult it was. Building and repairing the stone retaining walls; carefully placing gravel to ensure proper drainage; carting in soil – either from lower on the hillside or from another environment; constructing irrigating infrastructure from natural springs or cisterns; and ascending and descending the terraced fields to work them individually represented an intensive form of agriculture that was used only as a last resort to make otherwise un-arable land productive.[4] During times of economic and national power, the Israelites and Judahites were able to move into the lowlands to farm the more easily worked land. Terraces were reserved for the more profitable crops, like grapes, that fetched a higher price at market, and made the intensive work of creating, repairing and farming terraces economically sustainable.

[9] In late Iron II Judah, around the time of the prophetic careers of Isaiah, Hosea and Amos, farming patterns began to transform. In the Southern Kingdom of Judah there was a crisis of arable land after the defection of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Terraced fields were suddenly profoundly important when Judahites could no longer rely on unrestrained trade with their northern neighbors. [5] In the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the terrace farm, while still used, received less emphasis and importance than the now securely-held lowland farm. Both of these situations, contraction of relative farmable land in the South and increased focus on mainly farming flat arable land in the North put increased financial pressure on farmworkers as landowners sought to extract wealth from smaller plots.

Wheat and Vines: A Structural Work-Around that Increases Inequality

[10] By moving vineyards from narrow terraces on the hillside to fields and rolling hills, which were typically the range of wheat and other cereal crops, wealthy Israelite landowners changed the political economy of the North. In the South, the local supply of grain decreased as terraced fields were increasingly planted with vines, rather than wheat. As grain supply decreased, prices increased, such that the tenant farmers who worked the land for the wealthy landowners had a difficult time affording grain for their families from the currency – rather than shares of wheat crops – that they were paid.

[11] Scripture is repeat with prophetic backlash to the changes in the economy. Amos draws the connection between the removal of the forced redistributive tax of grain[6] on landowners from the poor with the planting of vineyards:

[12] Therefore because you trample on the poor
and take from them levies of grain,
you have built houses of hewn stone,
but you shall not live in them;
you have planted pleasant vineyards,
but you shall not drink their wine. (Amos 5:11)

[13] The situation that Amos was describing was when rich landowners realized that by growing and selling grapes and wine, they could earn more money from the same field than if it simply was used to grow grain. In so doing, the prophet pictures the wealthy stealing from the poor the grain tax that they were owed. In Amos’ description of obscene wealth that caused the wealthy to actively worsen the plight of the poor, “bowls of wine” or an overabundance of the fruit of the vine figured prominently (Amos 6:4-6, especially v6).

[14] Hosea, in a particularly shocking passage, connects Israel’s idolatry/spiritual adultery with wine production:

[15] She did not know
that it was I who gave her
the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and who lavished upon her silver
and gold that they used for Baal.
 Therefore I will take back
my grain in its time,
and my wine in its season;
and I will take away my wool and my flax,
which were to cover her nakedness…

[16] I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees… (Hosea 2:8-9, 12)

[17] But if the cause of the idolatry/adultery was the vineyard, and if the vineyard was also the locus for God’s punishment, the sign of God’s covenantal renewal of love and favor would also be the gifting of an appropriate vineyard: “From there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope” (Hosea 2:15). The steep valley of Achor is the perfect place for a vineyard that does not interfere with wheat cultivation. God does not hate grapes, it should be noted. But when they become a tool of injustice, God’s prophets raise the alarm.

[18] Isaiah’s “Song of the Vineyard” is particularly important in describing the missteps of the wealthy in relation to vineyards. When God told the tale of a lovely planted vineyard, Isaiah noted that it was “on a hillside” (Isaiah 5:1). The vineyard has become a bitter disappointment to God. When God looked for justice and righteousness, only bloodshed and cries of distress were found (Isaiah 5:7). This is because the wealthy were adding field to field and building their houses in such a way that they squeezed out the poor, both physically and economically (Isaiah 5:8).

Skimming Charity: Wheat, Wine and the Poverty-Stricken

[19] The underpaid workers were not the only victims of the switch in agriculture, however. Even as the profit from switching from the dietary staple of wheat to a relative cash crop of grapes increased the landowners’ wealth, the change in crops led to a decrease in production costs by effectively eliminating gleanings. The instructions for gleaning in Leviticus command that as well as any grain that falls not being picked up, at least one pe’a (פּאה) [section] of the wheat field was to be left intentionally unharvested so that the poor, foreigners and widows could harvest it (Lev 19:9). In the vineyards, the responsibilities of the landowner to the poor were much less. Consequently, the gleanings of grapevies were much less. The vintner was merely instructed not to do a second harvest. If any single grapes were broken off [פֶרֶט] of a cluster, they must be left for the gleaners (Lev 19:10). Proficient grape harvesters could conceivably leave almost nothing behind after one harvest for gleaners of vineyards. The difference between intentionally unharvested corners of wheat fields, and the lack of any requirement in vineyards could not have been starker.

[20] As if to appease their underfed and underfunded workers, the vineyard owners apparently came up with a cynical solution. They told their workers to plant wheat among the vineyards. Thus, the workers were able to receive payment in wheat, and the land was still producing grape/wine wealth for the landowners. Because the vineyard was first and foremost a vineyard, there was no need to leave a corner of a wheat, which was probably hidden among the taller vines, for the poor, who would still have been shut out of their share of the land’s produce.

[21] Sowing wheat among the vines was the historical analogy of side-hustles and “multi-vocational” work. The tenant farmer was only paid from the work on the vines. He had to tend the wheat, that was used to supplement his income and his family’s diet, on his own time, presumably with his own fertilizing resources, or those stolen from his employer. This system would have been rife for abuse, by both the employer and the tenant farmer. Instead of paying a sustainable, living wage, the employer decoupled a living wage of wheat from the profits from the field. The farm worker now needed to work additional hours, tending a whole other species with different requirements. Care for both tasks unavoidably suffers as time and resources are spread across two tasks.

[22] The book of Deuteronomy, recovered during the reign of King Josiah, intensified the Levitical prohibition against sowing mixed fields (Lev 19:19) to specify that the practice of sowing other seeds among the vineyards was a sacrilege (Deut 22:9). Both kinds of produce, the wheat and the grapes, would be profaned. In other words, the whole grape crop would be unsellable to an Israelite or a Judahite, because it had been grown at the cost of mono-employment of the farm worker. The side-hustle, as well as the crop which is intended to maximize profits and minimize contribution to society, are unclean and were to be shunned by God’s people.

[23] The cruel maximizing of profits while at the same time forcing workers into side-hustles for sustainable income – not to mention renouncing obligations to the poor and foreigners – disgusted and infuriated God:

[24] The Lord enters into judgment
with the elders and princes of his people:
It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What do you mean by crushing my people,
by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts. Isaiah 3:14-15.

[25] Hear this, you that trample on the needy,
and bring to ruin the poor of the land,
buying the poor for silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and selling the sweepings of the wheat.” Amos 8:4, 6.

[26] The wealthy landowners who focused on profit maximization at the cost of sustainably paying their workers were said to have “devoured the vineyard” and not left enough for their workers or society. The prophet could not be clearer that God considers the extra profit which the landowner accumulated by switching business models to be stolen from the poor. Amos goes on to say that God’s anger is roused when that which ought to be left for the poor (the gleaning, or sweeping of wheat) is instead sold, or, indeed, not grown in the first place and sold as wine instead.

[27] God roundly condemns as abusive the clearest analogue to the employers’ profit maximization that forced side-hustles living during the time of the prophets – the switching of wheat fields to vineyards, and “allowing” workers to grow wheat among the vines. Forcing people into working multiple crops – or multiple jobs – to support themselves and their families was offensive to the prophets and to God. The notion of mono-employment as objectively good in itself, however, was yet to be developed.

Jesus & Disciples: “It is Not Right for Us to Wait Tables.”

[28] Jesus’ ministry took place mostly among the people of the Galilee, administered by Herod Antipas, under Roman hegemony. In the time of Jesus, in Galilee, the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer.[7] This situation was particularly acute for the many small-holdings farmers who were being squeezed out of their employment as large landowners bought up land after financial shocks.[8] It is no surprise, then, that during this time intensive terrace farming increased as other arable land was more expensive and difficult to procure. Poor harvests, or more commonly, failure to pay taxes, led to seizure of land and sale to the highest bidder. Thus landwealth became concentrated in the hands of the already wealthy.[9]

[29] The landowners hired some of the former small-plot farmers as tenant farmers, but the increased efficiency of having ever larger plots growing monoculture required fewer farmers to work the land. Thus, after being bought out, many farmers were not even able to find work on their former land. The economic context of Jesus’ preaching in the Galilee was one where, again, tenant farmers were having to supplement their income as agricultural business sought to integrate into the trans-Mediterranean Roman supply chain, rather than focus on sustainable living wages for workers and compassionate, sustainable charity for the landless poor. Simply put, the first century CE economic changes in the Galilee were rapidly increasing the number of landless poor.

[30] We should not be surprised that the images of farming that Jesus invokes in his parables describe uncaring or foolish farming practices. Only a clueless landlord who does not care about the land would sow a rapidly reproducing weed like mustard in his own field (Matthew 13:31). The sower must be indifferent to the eventual harvest if he does not take care when broadcasting the seed to at least not spill on the path or throw among the rocky soil (Matthew 13:1-8). Jesus’ words to his disciples, in the context of explaining the parable of the sower must have, like so many of his words, carried a double meaning: “For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Matthew 13:12). Surveying the economic carnage and dispossession among the hearers of the farming parables, the disciples must have seen the literal truth of Jesus’ metaphorical words.

[31] The context of Jesus’ ministry is important for considering Jesus’ and his disciples’ positions about mono-focus in their vocation. Jesus is described as a carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55), but never a carpenter himself. He did not seem to have engaged in carpentry or masonry during his ministry, or at least the gospel writers did not note his trade (even after Paul made much of his own “tentmaking – more on that below). Jesus’ only trade was a wandering prophet of the Kingdom of Heaven.

[32] In this work, he was supported by wealthy patronesses (Luke 8:2). He dressed in noteworthy garments (John 19:23-24) and attended parties, some of which were quite lavish (John 2:1, Matthew 9:9-12, Luke 7:36-50, Luke 11:37-53, Luke 14:1-24, Luke 19:1-10). Indeed, Jesus taught his disciples that their work proclaiming the Kingdom was worth support such that they should not have to provide for themselves (Luke 10:4-7, Matthew 10:9-11). Jesus himself appears to have modeled this mono-vocational lifestyle, even as he directed his followers to emulate him.

[33] In commissioning his disciples and sending them out on their missions, Jesus said, “Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food” (Matthew 10:9-10) and “  Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid…” (Luke 10:7). The towns that failed to welcome the traveling prophets by supporting them and providing for their needs were to be publicly cursed (Matthew 10:14-15, Luke 10:10-11). The disciples apparently paid attention to Jesus’ insistence on his agents being paid a sustainable wage for their mono-vocation and applied this principle even after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.

[34] As the Jesus community grew and multi-ethnic Jews were added to the number of Semitic-speaking Jews of The Land, conflicts broke out. Hellenistic Jews were concerned that their widows were not being given adequate support and brought the issue to the disciples. The disciples apparently spoke with one voice, saying that the issue was an important one, and people should be chosen to ensure just distribution of funds across cultural boundaries. But the disciples pointedly exempted themselves from the task, saying:

[35] It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word. (Acts 6:2-4).

[36] For Jesus’ original disciples, taking on an additional side-job, even a holy task of taking care of widows, was out of the question because it would distract from their ministry. They delegated others, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, to the noble work. Waiting tables was not unimportant. Indeed, the disciples looked for people of high character to fulfill the tasks. The emphasis here is not whether one sort of work in the early church is more important that others, but that humans should be allowed to focus on one kind of work, without having to divert attention to other jobs.

[37] The approved model of Jesus and the disciples seems to have been not side-hustles or multi-vocational work for ministers, but community support, specifically so that the disciples did not have to split their attention. This is somewhat similar to the notion that developed in Judaism of סקחר בטלה [Sekhar battalah  suspension fee].[10] In this model, the religious professional is not paid for their religious work, per se, but they are given a sustainable income so that they will be free to concentrate on the holy work to which they have been called, rather than be distracted by secular employment. But even in the first century CE, as now, opinions on varied as to whether multi-vocational work and side hustles were appropriate, even within the writings of one individual.

Paul: “Do [not] Muzzle an Ox”

[38] As was occasionally the case on topics that Paul brings up in his letters, the accomplice-to-murder-turned-apostle had strong feelings about financial support of ministry that seemed to diverge from the practices of Jesus’ disciples and the Jerusalem church. Initially, Paul recognizes, supports and defends the expectation that those who minister should expect full, sustainable support from their congregations, reminding his hearers of the practices of the disciples (1 Cor 9:6-12, 14). Paul cites Torah to support his point:

[39] For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Or does he not speak entirely for our sake? It was indeed written for our sake, for whoever plows should plow in hope and whoever threshes should thresh in hope of a share in the crop. If we have sown spiritual good among you, is it too much if we reap your material benefits? (1 Cor 9:9-11)

[40] Paul will again bring up the commandment not to muzzle a working ox (Deut 25:4) in 1 Tim 5:18, and couple with it the lawful principle that the worker deserves to be paid immediately (Lev 19:13). He marshaled these verses to support his insistence that elders, especially if they preach and teach, deserve a double price/τιμῆς [timēs “price” or “payment” carries the valence of the primary economic meaning, and fits the context of the verse much better than “honor”] (1 Tim 5:17). Paul knows and reminds his readers of the tradition among Jesus followers that ministers are entitled to sustainable support from their ministry work. Indeed, Paul seems to have practiced and received communal support (Phil 4:15-18, 2 Cor 11:8-9) in most contexts.

[41] And yet, Paul makes a departure from this tradition in a few specific contexts. Acts notes that Paul, along with Aquila, practiced tentmaking, or leatherwork, to support his own ministry (Acts 18:3). Paul uses this multi-vocational lifestyle toward two of his rhetorical goals. First, Paul brings up his secular side-hustle to encourage the Thessalonians to not be idle, but to engage in communal support (2 Thes 3:8-12). Yet, even while bringing up his tentmaking, Paul reminds his hearers that his tentmaking is pedagogical, and that he has the right to community support (2 Thes 3:9). Second, Paul points out that he undertakes secular employment to support the weak, rather than to seek support from them (Acts 20:34-35). It is this point that undergirds Paul’s thinking on his side-hustle. Paul uses his additional employment to teach and support others, not to support himself. He insists that his main work – ministry – should be supported by the beneficiaries of that work.

[42] In his letters to the church in Corinth, Paul repeatedly boasts that unlike others, he has not taken money from the Corinthians (1 Cor 9:15-18, 2 Cor 11:9-11). In answering apparent critique that Paul was in ministry to make money for himself (1 Cor 9:1-4), Paul echoes Moses when faced with challenges to his leadership (Num 16:15), by proclaiming that he has not taken anything from the community in question. Paul chose in the specific context of Achaia to not accept support from the Corinthians (in fact, he would rather die!) in order to maintain the rhetorical boast that he was not fleecing the Christians with whom he had most difficult relationship. It seems that Corinth was a limited, special case. Elsewhere, Paul gladly accepted material support, and reaffirmed the duty of congregations to support the right to a living wage by teachers and preachers. Even in the narrow, focused case of Paul’s missionary efforts in the early church, Paul reaffirms, continually, that one’s main work should provide sustainable wages. Paul uses his tentmaking rhetorically but insists that an ox that treads grain for others must not be muzzled and must be allowed to eat.


[43] When Scripture is consistent on a principle throughout the stages of the developing relationship between God and humans, it is worthwhile to take note. I argue the principle of employment must deliver a living wage without forcing people to take on additional jobs is one such principle. When Israelite and Judahite efforts to maximize profit from the land changed the social-economy and resulted in intentionally lessoned profit sharing with the poor, the prophets were not silent. Forcing farm workers into side-hustles to support themselves after wages were cut to non-sustainable levels was disgusting to God. The whole economic system that made land-owners richer while their workers and the landless poor could no longer support themselves was declared a sacrilege.

[44] Hundreds of years later, Jesus and his disciples maintained that even in the founding of a new experimental community, there were enough resources and work to go around. Jesus’ disciples lived this principle in ministry by not taking on additional work. Instead, the members of the Jesus community relied on each other for support, rather than taking on additional jobs that would have inevitably cut into the time and focus that they devoted to growing the new community. Plainly, the community was too important for people not to be fully devoted to the task assigned to them. Everyone’s personhood was the basis for meeting their needs, not their productivity.

[45] Later, Paul reaffirms the principle that people should not have to take on additional work in order to have their needs met, even as he chose not to practice it in all cases. Paul used these exceptions, however, to argue the rule that just as justice toward animals means that an ox that helps provide food to humans also is allowed to eat its fill, so does justice toward humans require that those who work for others should be able to derive a sustainable, livable income from that work. In Scripture, the clear expectation that the “worker is worth her wages” reverberates through the ages. Multi-vocational work is an option, if voluntary, but a grievous sin if forced.



[1] Burgard, Sarah and Lin, Katherine. 2013. “Bad Jobs, Bad Health? How Work and Working Conditions Contribute to Health Disparities.” in American Behavioral Scientist. Aug, 2013. 57(8). doi:10.1177/0002764213487347.

[2] Kahneman, Daniel and Deaton, Angus. 2010. “High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being.” in PNAS, September 21, 2010 107 (38). 16489-1649. 16489-90.

[3] Borowski, Oded. 2002. Agriculture in Iron Age Israel. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research. 15.

See also: Mazar, Benjamin. 1981. “The Process of Israelite Settlement in the Hill Country. in Eretz Israel. 15: 145-150.

Kochavi, Moshe. 1972. Judaea, Samaria and the Golan, Archeological Survey (1967-1968). Jerusalem: The Archeological Survey of Israel and Carta.

Aharoni, Yohanan. 1956. “A Survey of the Galilee: Israelite Settlements and their Pottery.” in EI 4:56-64.

[4] Silver, Morris. 1983. Prophets and Markets: The Political Economy of Ancient Israel. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing. 22.

Frick, Frank. 1989. “Ecology, Agriculture and Patterns of Settlement.” in The World of Ancient Israel: Sociological, Anthropological and Political Perspectives. Clements, R.E., ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 84.

[5] Borowski. 2002. 15-17.

[6] Contrary to the theories of Tim Keller, among others, there is no sense in which the redistributive harvest taxes from Lev 19:9-10 were voluntary or a result of human generosity. Certainly, landowners could give more, if they wished, but they could never give less.

[7] Hanson, K. C.  and Oakman, Douglas. 2008. Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 16.

Lamentations Rabbah 2:5.

[8] Oakman, Douglas. 1986. Jesus and the Economic Questions of His Day. Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen. 62;

Fiensy, David. 1991. The Social History of Palestine in the Herodian Period: The Land Is Mine. Lewiston, N.Y.: Mellen. 54, 84, 93–94.

Oakman, Douglas. 2013. “Execrating? Or Execrable Peasants!” in The Galilean Economy in the Time of Jesus. Early Christianity and Its Literature. Fiensy, David A., and Hawkins, Ralph , eds. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. 148.

[9] Oakman. 2013. 150.

[10] YT Nedarim 4:4.

Roth, Jeffrey. 2006. Inheriting the Crown in Jewish Law: The Struggle for Rabbinic Compensation, Tenure and Inheritance Rights. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 24-27.

Cory Driver

Dr. Cory Driver is an ELCA  Global Missions professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo (Egypt). Cory is a minister of Word and Service until his ordination to Word and Sacrament ministry on January 8, 2022. Driver’s academic work centers on intersections of gender, ethnicity and land-use in the Hebrew Bible.