a labourer employed on hire for a limited time ( Job 7:1 ; 14:6 ; Mark 1:20 ). His wages were paid as soon as his work was over ( Leviticus 19:13 ). In the time of our Lord a day's wage was a "penny" (q.v.) i.e., a Roman denarius ( Matthew 20:1-14 ).
A laborer employed on hire.
But now the LORD hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an HIRELING, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble. ( Isaiah 16:14 )
Occurs only 6 times in the Old Testament, and uniformly means a laborer for a wage. In Job 7:1 f there is reference to the hireling's anxiety for the close of the day. In Isaiah 16:14 and 21:16 the length of the years of a hireling is referred to, probably because of the accuracy with which they were determined by the employer and the employee. Malachi (3:5) speaks of the oppression of the hireling in his wages, probably by the smallness of the wage or by in some way defrauding him of part of it.
In the New Testament the word "hireling" (misthotos) occurs only in John 10:12, where his neglect of the sheep is contrasted unfavorably with the care and courage of the shepherd who owns the sheep, who leads them to pasture and lays down his life for their protection from danger and death.
William Joseph McGlothlin
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