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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Wages


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The earliest mention of wages is of a recompense, not in money, but in kind, to Jacob from Laban. (Genesis 29:15,20 ; 30:28 ; 31:7,8,41 ) 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 laborer's 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 ; 24:14,15) 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 6:4 )

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Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Wages'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/sbd/w/wages.html. 1901.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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