Loading...

Wages

In the nomadic, pastoral society of the patriarchal period there was no wage-earning class. When men worked for others, it was generally for their own maintenance; and often they received some payment in kind for their services. Jacob’s service to Laban was on this basis (Gen 29:15; 30:32, 33; 31:8, 41). With the increasing complexity of a more settled community, once the Israelites were in Canaan, people were needed to engage in trades and crafts of all kinds. For these services payment, in whole or in part, was made by weighing out quantities of bronze or silver. Coinage in the standard sense was a later invention, being first used in Asia Minor by the Lydians just before 700 b.c. From here its use spread throughout the Gr. world, but it was prob. not in common use in the Near E until the Hel. period (beginning approx. 300 b.c.). As is the case in the Near E even today, bargaining was a common practice. Where there were no set scales for payment, it was usual to negotiate ter