XXVIII. (141) After this he also appointed another source of revenue of no insignificant importance for the priests, bidding them to take the first fruits of every one of the revenues of the nation namely, the first fruits of the corn, and wine, and oil, and even of the produce of all the cattle, of the flocks of sheep, and herds of oxen, and flocks of goats, and of all other animals of all kinds; and how great an abundance of these animals there must be, any one may conjecture from the vast populousness of the nation; (142) from all which circumstances it is plain that the law invests the priests with the dignity and honour that belongs to kings; since he commands contributions from every description of possession to be given to them as to rulers; (143) and they are accordingly given to them in a manner quite contrary to that in which cities usually furnish them to their rulers; for cities usually furnish them under compulsion, and with great unwillingness and lamentation, looking upon the collectors of the taxes as common enemies and destroyers, and making all kinds of different excuses at different times, and neglecting all laws and ordinances, and with all this jumbling and evasion do they contribute the taxes and payments which are levied on them. (144) But the men of this nation contribute their payments to the priests with joy and cheerfulness, anticipating the collectors, and cutting short the time allowed for making the contributions, and thinking that they are themselves receiving rather than giving; and so with words of blessing and thankfulness, they all, both men and women, bring their offerings at each of the seasons of the year, with a spontaneous cheerfulness, and readiness, and zeal, beyond all description.