|wa'-jez ((Maskoreth) reward or wages, (Mistakker) earning, (Sakhar) payment of contract, (Misthos) pay for service)
RELATED: Denarius, Money
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Rate of (mention only in Matthew
20:2 ); to be punctually paid ( Leviticus
19:13 ; Deuteronomy
24:15 ); judgements threatened against the withholding of ( Jeremiah
22:13 ; Malachi
3:5 ; Compare James
5:4 ); paid in money ( Matthew
20:1 - 14
); to Jacob in kind ( Genesis
29:20 ; 30:28
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
The earliest mention of wages is of a recompense, not
in money, but in kind, to Jacob from Laban. ( Genesis
29:20 ; 30:28
31:41 ) In Egypt money payments by way of wages were in use, but the terms
cannot now be ascertained. ( Exodus
2:9 ) The only mention of the rate of wages in Scripture is found in the parable
of the householder and the vineyard, ( Matthew
20:2 ) where the laborers wages was set at one denarius per day, probably
15 to 17 cents, a sum which may be fairly taken as equivalent to the denarius,
and to the usual pay of a soldier (ten asses per diem) in the later days of the
Roman republic. Tac. Ann. i. 17; Polyb. vi. 39. In earlier times it is probable
that the rate was lower; but it is likely that laborers, and also soldiers, were
supplied with provisions. The law was very strict in requiring daily payment of
wages. ( Leviticus
19:13 ; Deuteronomy
24:15 ) The employer who refused to give his-laborers sufficient victuals
is censured ( Job
22:11 ) and the iniquity of withholding wages is denounced. ( Jeremiah
22:13 ; Malachi
3:5 ; James
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
wa'-jez, wa'-jiz (chinnam, maskoreth, pe'ullah, sakhar,
sakhar; misthos, opsonion):
means "gratis," without cost or any advantage, for nought, or in vain; wages in
the sense of reasonable return. Jeremiah pronounces woe upon him who "useth his
neighbor's service without wages, and giveth him not his hire" (Jeremiah 22:13;
the only place where the word is used).
means "reward" or "wages." Laban said to Jacob: "Shouldest thou therefore serve
me for nought? Tell me, what shall thy wages be?" (Genesis 29:15). Jacob said,
concerning Laban, speaking to Rachel and Leah: "Your father hath deceived me,
and changed my wages ten times" (Genesis 31:7; compare 31:41).
generally means "work," "labor," "reward," "wages." The old Levitical Law was
insistent on honesty in wages and on promptness in payments: "The wages of a hired
servant shall not abide with thee all night until the morning" (Leviticus 19:13).
means "earning," "hire," "reward," "wages,"
from root sakhar, meaning "to hire," and has in it the idea of temporary
purchase: "He that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes"
means "payment of contract," in the material way of salary, maintenance, fare,
and so compensation, reward, price, benefit, wages--seemingly wages received after
an understanding as to time, manner and amount of payment. Laban (employer) said
to Jacob (employee): "Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it" (Genesis 30:28);
"If he said thus, The speckled shall be thy wages" (Genesis 31:8); Pharaoh's daughter
said to Moses' mother: "Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will
give thee thy wages" (Exodus 2:9); Nebuchadrezzar and his army served against
Tyre, "yet had he no wages, nor his army" (Ezekiel 29:18), and the prey of Egypt
"shall be the wages for his army" (Ezekiel 29:19); swift and sure judgment is
predicted against "those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and
the fatherless" (Malachi 3:5).
means either in a literal or figurative sense "pay for service," either primitive
or beneficial, and so reward, hire, wages. In John 4:36 Jesus said, "He that reapeth
receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal." 2 Peter 2:15 has changed
"wages" (the King James Version) to "hire," reading "who loved the hire of wrongdoing."
meaning primarily "rations for soldiers" (opson being
the word for cooked meat) and so "pay" or stipend, provision wages. In Luke 3:14
John said to the soldiers, "Be content with your wages"; "The wages of sin is
death" (Romans 6:23); Paul said: "I robbed other churches, taking wages of them"
(2 Corinthians 11:8); the same word in 1 Corinthians 9:7 is translated "charges."
The Bible refers to wages actual and wages figurative. Of actual wages there are
|(1) money wages,
(2) provision (usually food) wages, and
(3) what may be called "exchange" wages, wages in kind, sometimes "human-kind,"
e.g. Jacob's wages from Laban.
Often laborers and soldiers received both money and "keep" wages. The laborer
in New Testament times received about 15 cents per day (the "shilling" of Matthew
20:2), besides in some cases his provisions. The old Law required daily payment,
honesty in dealing, also sufficient food for the laborer.
It is practically impossible to test "Bible" wages by any of theories of modern
economists. In this connection, however, mere mention of the six principal theories
may be of interest. Concisely put, they are:
|(1) the wage-fund theory,
(2) the standard-of-living theory,
(3) the German-socialistic theory,
(4) the production theory,
(5) Henry George's theory, and
(6) the laborer's value theory.
The incidents in the Old Testament of Jacob and in the New Testament of Matthew
20 both show that the laborer was at the caprice of the employer. Therefore, we
may designate the Bible law of wages as the "employer's theory."
William Edward Raffety
bible commentary, bible reference, bible study, chinnam, compensation, define, history of, maskoreth, mistakker, misthos, opsonion, pay, pe'ullah, sakhar, wages