Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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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. (a) As a verb it means "to hire" for a wage, either money or something else; in this sense it is used with regard to ordinary laborers (1 Sam 2:5; 2 Ch 24:12), or mercenary soldiers (2 Sam 10:6; 2 Ki 7:6; 1 Ch 19:6; 2 Ch 25:6), or a goldsmith (Isa 46:6), or a band of loose followers (Jdg 9:4), or a false priest (Jdg 18:4), or Balaam (Dt 23:4; Neh 13:2), or hostile counselors (Ezr 4:5), or false prophets (Neh 6:12 f). As a verbal adjective it refers to things (Ex 22:15; Isa 7:20)or men (Lev 19:13; Jer 46:21). (b) As a noun it denotes the wage in money, or something else, paid to workmen for their services (Gen 30:32 f; 31:8; Dt 24:15; 1 Ki 5:6; Zec 8:10), or the rent or hire paid for a thing (Ex 22:15), or a work-beast (Zec 8:10). In Gen 30:16 Leah hires from Rachel the privilege of having Jacob with her again, and her conception and the subsequent birth of a son, she calls her hire or wage from the Lord for the gift of her slave girl to Jacob as a concubine (Gen 30:18).
(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 (Dt 23:18), or, reversing the usual custom, made by the harlot nation (Ezek 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 Hos 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 Lk 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.
William Joseph McGlothlin
Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'hire'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". - ISBE; 1915.

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