labour

Human labour is regarded in the OT as sharing in the divine purpose (Exod. 20:8; 34:21) because God's work was described in Gen. 1 as creative. Jesus ‘worked’ (John 5:17) by healing on a Sabbath, which he justifies on the ground that God continued to maintain the universe even during the prescribed Sabbath day of rest: the obligation to rest can be set aside to enable Jesus to do God's work. Paul worked for his living (Acts 18:3), and exhorted his converts not to be idle (1 Thess. 4:11).
On the other hand, work is part of the penalty for sin (Gen. 3:17), and much labour described in the Bible was arduous and unrewarding. For some of it the Hebrews used slaves (Exod. 21:2–6) and captured foreigners (Josh. 9:3–27); and slaves are frequently mentioned in the Roman period by the NT, e.g. the epistle to Philemon. Women had heavy manual work such as fetching water (Gen. 24:15; John 4:7) but could also aspire to be entrepreneurs (Acts 16:14).

Dictionary of the Bible.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • labour — [ labur ] n. m. • 1180; de labourer 1 ♦ Travail de labourage, façon donnée à une terre pour la retourner et l ameublir. ⇒ labourage. Labour à bras (à la bêche, à la houe). Labour à la charrue, au tracteur. Labours superficiels ou légers. Labours… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • labour — la‧bour [ˈleɪbə ǁ ər] , labor noun [uncountable] 1. work involving a lot of physical or mental effort: • The garage charges £65 an hour for labour. • those involved in repetitive, unskilled manual labour (= work that involves using your …   Financial and business terms

  • labour — (US & Austral. labor) ► NOUN 1) work, especially hard physical work. 2) workers collectively. 3) (Labour) the Labour Party. 4) the process of childbirth. ► VERB 1) work hard …   English terms dictionary

  • labour — Labour, ou labourage, Cultus agrorum, Agricultura, Aratio, Agricolatio. Qui est en labour, Ager cultus et nitidus. B. Labour de terre, Molitio agrorum. Entretenir le labour, Tenere studia agri colendi. Qui se cognoist au labour, Prudens… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • labour — Labour. s. m. La façon qu on donne aux terres en les labourant. Il faut donner deux labours à cette terre. on luy a donné tant pour son labour. il luy faut payer ses labours & semences. On appelle, Chevaux de labour, Les chevaux dont on se sert… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • labour — British English spelling of LABOR (Cf. labor) (q.v.); for spelling, see OR (Cf. or). As short for the British Labour Party it is from 1906 …   Etymology dictionary

  • labour — la bour, n. Same as {labor}; British spelling. [Chiefly Brit.] [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Labour — (spr. Labuhr), ehemalige Landschaft im südwestlichen Frankreich, Theil der Gascogne; Hauptstadt war Bayonne …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Labour — er det engelske arbejderparti …   Danske encyklopædi

  • labour — is the standard spelling in BrE, whereas labor is the standard form in AmE …   Modern English usage

  • labour — [lā′bər] n., vi., vt. Brit. sp. of LABOR …   English World dictionary

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