1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation 4 because it is God’s servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God’s servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing. 7 Pay everyone what is owed: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.
GEMARA: The Gemara asks, concerning the mishna’s statement that one may take a vow to tax collectors: But didn’t Shmuel say: The law of the kingdom is the law, i.e., there is a halakhic principle that Jews must obey the laws of the state in which they live? Since one must pay the tax determined by the kingdom, how did the Sages permit one to lie in order to avoid paying? Rav Ḥinnana said that Rav Kahana said that Shmuel said: The mishna is referring to a tax collector who has no fixed amount for collection established by the kingdom, but rather collects the tax arbitrarily. Therefore, this case is not included in the law of the kingdom. A Sage of the school of Rabbi Yannai said: The mishna is referring to a tax collector who establishes himself as such independently and was not appointed by the kingdom.