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Publicans

Men who bought or farmed the taxes under the Roman government were called publicani. The name is also used to describe those who actually collected the money, and who were properly called portitores. Both classes were detested by the Jews, and any Jew who undertook the work was excommunicated. Many of the tax-gatherers in Galilee would be in the service of Herod and not of Rome. There are many references in the New Testament to the readiness with which the publicans received the gospel (Matt. 9:9–10; 10:3; 21:31–32; Mark 2:14–15; Luke 3:12; 5:27–29; 7:29; 15:1; 18:13; 19:2, 8).