Hire


In the NT Jesus uses the day laborer and his relationship to the landowner in a parable to illustrate the kingdom of heaven (Matt 20:1-16). The parable makes it clear that the landowner was required to pay the laborers at the end of every day as specified by the law (Deut 24:14, 15). See Wages.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

hir: Two entirely different words are translated "hire" in the Old Testament:

(1) The most frequent one is sakhar, verb sakhar, and verbal adjective sakhir.



(2) The other word translated hire is ’ethnan, once ’ethnan. It is rather a gift (from root nathan, "to give") than a wage earned by labor, and is used uniformly in a bad sense. It is the gift made to a harlot (De 23:18), or, reversing the usual custom, made by the harlot nation (Eze 16:31,41). It was also used metaphorically of the gifts made by Israelites to idols, since this was regarded as spiritual harlotry (Isa 23:17 f; Mic 1:7; compare also Ho 8:9 f).

In the English New Testament the word occurs once as a verb and 3 times as a noun as the translation of misthos, and its verbal form. In Mt 20:1,8 and Jas 5:4 it refers to the hiring of ordinary field laborers for a daily wage. In Lu 10:7 it signifies the stipend which is due the laborer in the spiritual work of the kingdom of God. It is a wage, earned by toil, as that of other laborers. The word is very significant here and absolutely negatives the idea, all too prevalent, that money received by the spiritual toiler is a gift. It is rather a wage, the reward of real toil.