Genesis 47:18-26 :
When that year was ended, they came to him the second year, and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord how our money is all spent, and the herds of livestock are my lord’s.
There is nothing left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands. Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread,
and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land won’t be desolate.”
So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every man of the Egyptians sold his field, because the famine was severe on them, and the land became Pharaoh’s.
As for the people, he moved them to the cities from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end of it. Only he didn’t buy the land of the priests,
for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and ate their portion which Pharaoh gave them. That is why they didn’t sell their land. Then Joseph said to the people,
“Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. It will happen at the harvests,
that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four parts will be your own, for seed of the field, for your food, for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.”
They said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.”
Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. Only the land of the priests alone didn’t become Pharaoh’s.
There are many good leadership qualities that Joseph demonstrates in this passage. Notice that in what was probably the most horrible economy the world has ever seen,
Joseph was hailed by those he ruled as the one who saved their lives. Look at the lengths Joseph went to in order to not provide any handouts. When there was no more
money or livestock, Joseph took land and labor in place of money for food. He still did not give it out for nothing! Notice that the attitude of the people was very good
God made us to be workers. In our souls we want to work because that is what we do. It would have been harmful to the people to get something for nothing and not get
the satisfaction of working and eating what they worked for. Perhaps that's what makes a Great Depression so depressing. We were made to work and when we can't it harms
There is another thing that I found very interesting. Notice that in the worst of times, when the people had literally sold themselves to Pharaoh, they were only taxed
20%. I find this very insightful. Why do we, in a good time, among a "free" people, tolerate being taxed more than 45%? Why are we taxed on land that we supposedly own?
Do our governments think that they can run an economy in a good time better than Joseph could rule Egypt in the worst of times? Why is the tax not a flat tax?
I see taxation limits for government here. First of all, combined government taxes should not exceed 20%. Notice that this is a specific example of taxation in a
secular government. By these numbers, it would appear that many countries today are going against what God shows improves a good morale among the people and rebuilds
healthy economies. It implies that there are far too many people getting income without working and far too much is already being taken from those who do work.