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English Bible Dictionary



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, and you can find more about that here on on other commentaries and dictionary entries. 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)                     Divider of Saint TaklaHaymanot's website فاصل - موقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت

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