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During Bible History, a hireling was someone employed to work for a limited time, or day by day. As such they were paid daily, usually at the end of the day. In the time of the New Testament, a day's wages was recorded as being a Denarius (shown in the photograph, Caesar Augustus was the Roman emperor at the time of Christ's birth, Tiberius Caesar succeeded Augustus and was the Roman emperor at the time of Christ's crucifixion), translated as "penny" in the King James Version (keeping in mind that an English penny in 1611 England, when and where the King James was written, was worth much more than a penny today): "when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard" (Matthew 20:2 KJV).


Roman Coins During his troubled time, Job referred to human life as being "like the days of hireling," awaiting the end of the "day" for what has been worked for:

"Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work: So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me." (Job 7:1-3 KJV)

Job made the statements in the verses above because although he was "way back in the Old Testament" (see The Older Testament), Job knew about the Resurrections (see also When Will You Be Judged?):

"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26 KJV)

To oppress or cheat hirelings is regarded by God as an evil:

"And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith The Lord of hosts. For I am The Lord, I change not [see Timeless]; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Malachi 3:1-6 KJV)

Jesus Christ is the "Good Shepherd" Who is more than a hireling for the sheep of God's flock:

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep." (John 10:11-15 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did Jacob go from a hireling to a rich man?
See Jacob and Laban

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