The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Vol. 4

By Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Everett E. Harrison et al. | Go to book overview
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WADI wä'dē "Arab. wâdī". A valley through which water runs during the rainy seasons and which is dry the rest of the year. The term frequently is used in the names of watercourses (e.g., Wâdī en-Nâr, “river of fire,” which is the valley through which the confluence of the Kidron and Hinnom valleys flows). The Hebrew equivalent is naḥal, whose translation “torrent, torrent valley” is appropriate only during flash floods (cf. Jgs. 5:21). W. S. L. S.

The Wadi Shu'aib in the as-Salt vicinity, Amman (R. H. Smith)

WAFER "Heb. rāqîq–'thin cake' < rqq–'be thin' (Ex. 29:2, 23; Lev, 2:4; 7:12; 8:26; Nu. 6:15, 19; 1 Ch. 23:29), ṣappîhiṯ–'flam cake' (Ex. 16:31)"; AV also CAKE (1 Ch. 23:29); NEB also FLAT CAKE. All references to “wafer” in the RSV (except Ex. 16:31) are associated with various offerings. See SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS IN THE OT; BREAD IV.

WAGES "(vb.) Heb. śāḵar (Hag. 1:6); (subst.) Heb. śāḵar (Gen. 30:28; Ezk. 29:19”; Mai. 3:5), maśkōreṯ (Gen. 29:15; 31:7, 41), pe'ullâ (Lev. 19:13), pō'al (Job 7:2), meḥîr (Dt. 23:18 "MT 19"; Gk. misthós (Rom. 6:23), opsṓnion (Lk. 3:14)"; AV also HIRE (Gen. 30:32f.; 31:8; 1 K. 5:6 (MT 20); Zee. 8:10; Mt. 20:8; Lk. 10:7; Jas. 5:4), PRICE (Zec. 11:12), WORK (Job 7:2), REWARD (Rom. 4:4; 1 Cor. 3:8; 1 Tim. 5:18), LABOR (Prov. 10:16); NEB also PAY (Ex. 2:9; Jn. 4:36), PROFIT (Prov. 11:18). Recompense for services rendered.

The Hebrew verb śāḵar and its derivatives, śāḵar and maśḵóreṯ, in the OT always refer to literal payment, although money, per se, dates only to the introduction of coinage in the late 8th cent. B.C. Thus while Zechariah can speak of his wages as thirty shekels of silver (Zee. 11:12 a passage applied to Jesus' betrayal by Judas in Mt. 27:9), earlier wages include Laban's cattle (and daughters!) for Jacob (Gen. 29:15; 30:28), wheat and oil for King Hiram (I K. 5:11), and the land of Egypt and its booty for Nebuchadrezzar's army (Ezk. 29:19).

From the Hebrew verb pā'al (“make,” “work”) derive the substantives pō'al and pe'ullâ. The former often refers to God's mighty acts in history or to a person's moral actions. Thus Prov. 11:18 speaks of “deceptive wages” that the wicked earn. Elsewhere, though, only ordinary recompense seems in view the slave longing for his day's wage (Job 7:2) and the neighbor not receiving payment for his service (Jer. 22:13). Pe'ullâ is used twice as a clear synonym for śāḵar (in the otherwise antithetical parallelism of Prov. 11:18, and as the pay which a hired servant must receive before nightfall each day lest he go hungry in Lev. 19:13).

The origin of Heb. me'ḥîr is uncertain, perhaps from the root mḥr (see BDB, pp. 563f.). Its basic meaning seems to be “price” or “reward” (cf. Job 28:15; Isa. 45:13; 55:1; Mic. 3:11).

In the NT all but one of the occurrences of “wages” translate the Gk. misthós. Again the term may refer to literal payment, as in the parable of the vineyard laborers (Mt. 20:8), where the only scriptural reference to a standard wage appears the daily denarius for a common field laborer (v. 2). So too Jesus cites Levitical precedent (cf. Jgs. 17:10) to argue that “the laborer deserves his

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