|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Rate of (mention only in Matthew 20:2); to be punctually paid (Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14, 15); judgements threatened against the withholding of (Jeremiah 22:13; Malachi 3:5; Comp. James 5:4); paid in money (Matthew 20:1-14); to Jacob in kind (Genesis 29:15, 20; 30:28; 31:7, 8, 41).
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) A compensation given to a hired person for services; price paid for labor; recompense; hire. See Wage, n., 2.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
wa'-jez, wa'-jiz (chinnam, maskoreth, pe`ullah, sakhar, sakhar; misthos, opsonion):
(1) Chinnam 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).
(2) Maskoreth 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).
(3) Pe`ullah 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).
(4) Mistakker 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" (Haggai 1:6).
(5) Sakhar 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).
(6) Misthos 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."
(7) Opsonion, 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 three kinds:
(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
Wages (52 Occurrences)
Matthew 20:8 When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager,'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.' (WEB WEY DBY NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 6:37 But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." They asked him, "Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give them something to eat?" (See NIV)
Mark 14:5 For this might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and given to the poor." They grumbled against her. (See NIV)
Luke 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?" He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages." (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Luke 10:7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don't go from house to house. (WEB WEY NAS RSV NIV)
John 4:36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
John 6:7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little." (See NIV)
John 10:13 Now he who serves for wages flees because he serves for wages, and is not himself concerned about the sheep. (DBY)
John 12:5 "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?" (See NIV)
Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as debt. (See RSV NIV)
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. (See RSV)
1 Corinthians 9:17 And if I preach willingly, I receive my wages; but if against my will, a stewardship has nevertheless been entrusted to me. (WEY)
1 Corinthians 9:18 What are my wages then? The very fact that the Good News which I preach will cost my hearers nothing, so that I cannot be charged with abuse of my privileges as a Christian preacher. (WEY)
2 Corinthians 11:8 I robbed other assemblies, taking wages from them that I might serve you. (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS)
1 Timothy 5:18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain." And, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." (WEB NAS RSV NIV)
2 Peter 2:13 receiving the wages of unrighteousness; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you; (WEB NAS)
2 Peter 2:15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing; (WEB KJV WEY WBS NAS NIV)
2 John 1:8 See to yourselves, that we may not lose what we have wrought, but may receive full wages. (DBY)
Revelation 6:6 I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, "A choenix of wheat for a denarius, and three choenix of barley for a denarius! Don't damage the oil and the wine!" (See NIV)
Revelation 19:11 I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. (See NAS)
Genesis 29:15 Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 30:18 Leah said, "God has given me my hire, because I gave my handmaid to my husband." She named him Issachar. (See NAS)
Genesis 30:28 He said, "Appoint me your wages, and I will give it." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 30:32 I will pass through all your flock today, removing from there every speckled and spotted one, and every black one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats. This will be my hire. (See NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 30:33 So my righteousness will answer for me hereafter, when you come concerning my hire that is before you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and black among the sheep, that might be with me, will be counted stolen." (See NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 31:7 Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but God didn't allow him to hurt me. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 31:8 If he said this,'The speckled will be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled. If he said this,'The streaked will be your wages,' then all the flock bore streaked. (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 31:41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 2:9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." The woman took the child, and nursed it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Leviticus 19:13 "'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. "'The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 18:31 You shall eat it in every place, you and your households: for it is your reward in return for your service in the Tent of Meeting. (See NIV)
Deuteronomy 23:18 You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute, or the wages of a dog, into the house of Yahweh your God for any vow: for even both these are an abomination to Yahweh your God. "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (WEB ASV NAS RSV)
Deuteronomy 24:15 in his day you shall give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down on it; for he is poor, and sets his heart on it: lest he cry against you to Yahweh, and it be sin to you. (See NAS NIV)
Ruth 2:12 May Yahweh repay your work, and a full reward be given you from Yahweh, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." (See NAS)
1 Kings 5:6 Now therefore command that they cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon. My servants shall be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you shall say. For you know that there is not among us any who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." (WEB NAS RSV NIV)
Job 7:2 As a servant who earnestly desires the shadow, as a hireling who looks for his wages, (WEB JPS ASV DBY NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 10:16 The labor of the righteous tendeth to life; The increase of the wicked, to sin. (See JPS NAS NIV)
Proverbs 11:18 Wicked people earn deceitful wages, but one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. (WEB JPS ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 19:10 And its foundations have been smitten, All making wages 'are' afflicted in soul. (YLT)
Isaiah 23:17 It will happen after the end of seventy years that Yahweh will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her wages, and will play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth. (WEB NAS)
Isaiah 55:2 Why do you give your money for what is not bread, and the fruit of your work for what will not give you pleasure? Give ear to me, so that your food may be good, and you may have the best in full measure. (See NAS)
Jeremiah 22:13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by injustice; who uses his neighbor's service without wages, and doesn't give him his hire; (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Ezekiel 29:18 Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyre: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was worn; yet had he no wages, nor his army, from Tyre, for the service that he had served against it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS)
Ezekiel 29:19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Hosea 2:12 I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, about which she has said,'These are my wages that my lovers have given me; and I will make them a forest,' and the animals of the field shall eat them. (WEB NAS)
Hosea 9:1 Don't rejoice, Israel, to jubilation like the nations; for you were unfaithful to your God. You love the wages of a prostitute at every grain threshing floor. (WEB NIV)
Micah 1:7 All her idols will be beaten to pieces, and all her temple gifts will be burned with fire, and all her images I will destroy; for of the hire of a prostitute has she gathered them, and to the hire of a prostitute shall they return." (See NIV)
Haggai 1:6 You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don't have enough. You drink, but you aren't filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Zechariah 8:10 For before those days there was no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbor. (WEB NIV)
Zechariah 11:12 I said to them, "If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them." So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. (WEB NAS RSV)
Malachi 3:5 I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the perjurers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who deprive the foreigner of justice, and don't fear me," says Yahweh of Armies. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)