From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

It will be convenient, in the course of this article, (1) to define the usage of the term; (2) to indicate its occurrence in the apostolic writings; (3) briefly to set forth the place of this conception in the apostolic teaching.

1. The verb ‘to reward’ is capable of neutral usage; it may mean to give in return evil as well as good (cf.  Psalms 7:4;  Psalms 35:12 [Authorized Version]). But the usual meaning of ‘reward’ as a noun is an equivalent return for good. A ‘reward’ is a thing that carries with it the idea of gain, profit, or remuneration. The present discussion will confine itself to this view of the word and will endeavour to indicate the place which ‘reward,’ in the sense of payment or wages, holds as a factor in the Christian life.

2. The usual word in the NT for ‘reward,’ in the sense of hire or wages for work, is μισθός. It is so used by St. Paul ( Romans 4:4,  1 Corinthians 3:8;  1 Corinthians 3:14;  1 Corinthians 9:17-18). In  1 Timothy 5:18 (quoting  Luke 10:7) Revised Versiontranslates ‘hire.’ In  James 5:4,  2 Peter 2:13;  2 Peter 2:15, and  Judges 1:11 Revised Versionalso translates by ‘hire’ But in  2 John 1:8,  Revelation 11:18;  Revelation 22:12 the rendering is again ‘reward.’ St. Paul also twice uses the late, non-classical compound ἀντιμισθία, which in each case Revised Versiontranslates ‘recompense.’ This expression is neutral in meaning, for in  Romans 1:27 the allusion is to due recompense of error; in  2 Corinthians 6:13, on the other hand, it is to corresponding enlargement of heart in response to the Apostle’s affection.

The normal verb to express reward, in the sense of equivalent payment, of either good or evil is ἀποδίδωμι. This occurs in NT passim, and is the basis of the substantive which occurs only once in the NT as used by St. Paul in  Colossians 3:24, when, in urging slaves to single-hearted service, he says that they shall receive from the Lord τὴν ἀνταπόδοσιν τῆς κληρονομίας (Revised Version‘the recompense of the inheritance’). This word is frequent both in Septuagintand in classical Greek. It occurs also in inscriptions and papyri (cf. Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary of the Greek Testament, pt. i., London, 1914, s.v.).

From a combination of μισθός and ἀποδίδωμι we get the late and non-classical compound μισθαποδοσία, which word (with its corresponding μισθαποδότης,  Hebrews 11:6) occurs in Hebrews only ( Hebrews 2:2;  Hebrews 10:35;  Hebrews 11:26) and nowhere else in the Greek Bible. Revised Versiontranslates μισθαποδότης by ‘rewarder,’ but μισθαποδοσία in each instance by ‘recompense of reward.’ The word is employed in a neutral sense, for  Hebrews 2:2 refers to the consequences of transgression and disobedience, while  Hebrews 10:35 refers to the consequences of Christian παρρησία, and  Hebrews 11:6;  Hebrews 11:26 refer to the reward of faith and faithful endurance. In fact, the word emphasizes the exact requital of either good or evil by a sovereign judge.

The word μισθαποδοσία does not occur in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. The Pauline ἀντιμισθία appears now and then in 2 Clement (i. 3, 5, ix. 7). In xi. 6 it is coupled with a quotation from  Hebrews 10:23, πιστὸς γὰρ ἐστιν ὁ ἑπαγγειλάμενος τὰς ἀντιμισθίας ἀποδιδόναι ἑκάστῳ τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ. xv. 2, speaking of faith and love, says, ταύτην γὰρ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἀποδοῦναι τῷ Θεῷ τῷ κτίσαντι ἡμᾶς.

ἀνταποδότης occurs in Ep. Barn. 19:11 and Didache iv. 7, in the same phrase in both places: οὐ διστάσεις δοῦναι οὐδὲ διδοὺς γογγύσεις• γνώσῃ γὰρ τίς ἐστιν ὁ τοῦ μισθοῦ καλὸς ἀνταποδότης.

μισθός is of fairly frequent occurrence in contexts suggesting reward or requital. Perhaps the most interesting for the present purpose are 1 Clem. xxxiv. 3 and Ep. Barn. xxi. 3, in both of which the allusion is to  Isaiah 40:10 : Κύριος μετὰ ἰσχύος ἔρχεται … ἰδοῦ ὁ μισθὸς αὐτοῦ μετʼ αὐτοῦ. The Same idea is expressed in Ep. Barn. iv. 12: ἕκαστος καθὼς ἐποίησεν κομιεῖται.

3. The foregoing investigation has been concerned with the words usually employed by the apostolic writers to express the idea of requital in general and of reward in particular. The general idea of requital does not come up here for discussion. It may suffice to say that the idea of judgment, with the view that a man’s works, the general moral tenor of his life, is the standard by which he will be judged, is the consistent doctrine of Scripture throughout. The more immediate question is the place which the idea of reward holds in the apostolic teaching-the conception of the Christian life as a service rendered for which payment will be received.

It may be said that the conception of reward may be traced throughout the apostolic writings, the later as well as the earlier, and that, presumably, it reproduces the teaching of our Lord. That it formed part of His teaching is undeniable (cf.  Matthew 6:4;  Matthew 16:27). It is sometimes suggested that the holding forth of reward is not the highest ground of appeal for virtuous action, and that our Lord’s words here were conditioned by the exigencies of addresses to a popular audience. Without raising the question whether ‘virtue for virtue’s own sake,’ in total abstraction from all thoughts of consequences of any kind, is a thing really conceivable by any human intelligence, it may be asserted that the idea of reward as employed by Christ requires neither extenuation nor apology.

He came to proclaim the Kingdom of God. The relation of the members of that Kingdom to God is one of service, a service involving the corresponding idea of reward. This idea of service is in no way incompatible with that of sonship; a son as well as a subject must serve. It should also be remembered that reward, so far as it appears in Christ’s teaching, is conceived not quantitatively but qualitatively. The reward for which the disciple looks is simply the completion of his salvation. In all his service and all his sacrifice fur the Kingdom he is moved by the desire for participation in the completed kingdom. His reward lies in the attainment of that for which he has striven, and any other motive destroys the value of his service.

In fact, the idea of reward is entirely legitimate and appropriate when we remember in what the reward consists. It might be thought, for example, that the Johannine conception of salvation as eternal life, a life developing by its own inner necessity, would exclude the idea of reward. But in the Johannine writings, along with the idea of life, we have that of keeping Christ’s commandments. From this point of view the idea of service appears, and with it the presence of an impulse, which is provided by the promised reward what is the reward? Simply closer union with Christ. ‘He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him’ ( John 14:21); ‘if ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love’ ( John 15:10); ‘ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you’ ( John 15:14). A reward for service, which consists in abiding in Christ’s love, needs no apology, but may well stand as the highest conceivable motive to action. The reward may be otherwise expressed as honour bestowed by the Father (cf.  John 12:24-28, a passage which comes into close contact with the Synoptic presentment of the matter in  Matthew 10:32,  Luke 14:11). It is the teaching of the Fourth Gospel, as quoted above, that forms the background to the passage in  2 John 1:8, ‘Look to yourselves … that ye receive a full reward.’

None of the various Greek words for ‘reward’ occurs in 1 Peter, but the general idea of the consummation of all things as a ‘reward’ to faith holds here, as it does in the teaching of Jesus; cf.  1 Peter 1:9, ‘receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.’ This is the object of the ‘hope’ to which repeated allusion is made. Here, too, the reward is homogeneous with the service; it simply consists in this, that faith is recognized, and receives glory, praise, and honour at the return of Christ ( 1 Peter 1:7). This is expressed in more figurative fashion in  1 Peter 5:4 as ‘the crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ It is quite true that life is viewed in this Epistle as a matter of Divine grace and Divine calling (cf.  1 Peter 5:10); but there is no inherent contradiction. The promised gift of grace is also viewed as a reward when the conditions for its attainment are admitted to have been fulfilled.

The fact is that the Christian salvation may be viewed under various aspects, which are not contradictory but mutually complementary. It is a life, it is sonship, it is membership in a kingdom, it is service; and with the last there goes, indissolubly, the idea of reward-a reward consisting in fuller life and opportunity for more faithful and loving service, with the Divine approbation and benediction. It is interesting to note that 2 Clem. iii. 3, speaking of Christ’s confession of His faithful followers before the Father, says, οὗτος οὗν ἐστὶν ὁ μισθὸς ἡμῶν. When these considerations are borne in mind, any seeming difficulty in St. Paul’s language tends to disappear. He undoubtedly speaks of reward, and at first sight he may appear to conflict with his own doctrine of justification by faith. But justification is a past act resulting in a present state. It pertains to the beginning of the Christian life. That life is one of action and of service, and the service is inspired by the hope of the reward. In  Romans 2:6 f. (quoting  Proverbs 24:12) St. Paul says that God ‘will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life.’ The conception of μισθός appears in  1 Corinthians 3:8-9;  1 Corinthians 3:14-15. The man whose work stands the test of the fire will receive his reward; the man whose work is destroyed will, apparently, though saved himself, lose his reward. The μισθός here does not appear to be identified with salvation, but more particularly with the opportunities of higher service as distinct from the man’s own personal salvation. In  1 Corinthians 9:17-18 the Apostle comes more closely to the general NT idea of the μισθός. The ‘pay’ that he prefers is the continued opportunity to preach the gospel without pay. The opportunity for fuller service is the reward. It is in no way inconsistent with this that he regards those who have believed through him as his ‘crown’ ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19,  Philippians 4:1), and that, sharing the idea of St. James ( James 1:12), St. Peter ( 1 Peter 5:4), and the Seer of the Apocalypse, he looks on to ‘the crown of righteousness’ that awaits him ( 2 Timothy 4:8). So in  Colossians 3:24 the faithful and single-hearted slave will receive a ‘reward’ consisting in the Divinely promised inheritance.

It is quite mistaken to regard St. Paul’s language about rewards as a piece of earlier Judaism persisting in his Christian teaching, in which it forms an intractable and contradictory element. It presents no fundamental opposition whatever to his cardinal doctrine of justification by faith.

It remains to say a word about the language of Hebrews at this point. One great aspect of Christianity, as depicted in this Epistle, is that it is the fulfilment of the Divine promises. But here again, in so far as the receiving of the promises is connected with the performance of the duties of the New Covenant, it may be regarded as wages or reward; hence the use of μισθαποδοσία in  Hebrews 10:35. So in  Hebrews 11:6 God is conceived as the μισθαποδότης of those who seek for Him. It was the μισθαποδοσία for which he looked that nerved Moses to be ‘evil entreated with the people of God’ ( Hebrews 11:25). And even in the case of Jesus Himself, the idea of reward is not alien; ‘Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross’ ( Hebrews 12:3).

The idea of reward accompanies, almost of necessity, belief in a personal God. Viewed as the apostolic writers were taught by our Lord to view it, it is the loftiest and most potent incentive to holiness of life.

Literature.-Sanday-Headlam, International Critical Commentary, ‘Romans’5, Edinburgh, 1902, on ii. 6; A. Robertson and A. Plummer, ib. ‘1 Corinthians,’ do., 1911, Index. s.v.; B. Weiss, Biblical Theology of the New Testament, Eng. translationof 3rd ed., do., 1882-83, s.v.; Dict. of Christ and the Gospels, s.v.

Dawson Walker.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

A Definition of Reward . The word "reward" has both a favorable and an unfavorable meaning in English. In its favorable sense, it is something given in return for a good thing done, a service rendered, or some merit earned. For example, in  Matthew 5:11-12 , Jesus says, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven." In its opposite sense, the word "reward" can refer to punishment for a wrong or wrongs committed, although it is rarely used this way in the Bible. In  Revelation 22:12 the Greek word for "reward" is probably used with both favorable and unfavorable meanings in mind: "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." In this article, the word is limited to the more favorable meaning of recompense for good done rather than punishment for evil committed.

The Location of the Giving of Rewards . The rewards Christians will receive for faithful service to the Lord will be given out at the judgment seat of Christ or the bema [Βῆμα] judgment. The Greek word bema [Βῆμα] appears in  2 Corinthians 5:10 and   Romans 14:10 and refers to the place where the works of believers will be evaluated by Christ for purposes of reward. In 2Corinthians, a context in which Paul has stated several other incentives for faithful Christian service, Paul adds this additional encouragement: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." In   Romans 14:10 , where Paul is speaking about exercising love for fellow Christians, be they weak or strong in the faith, he again uses the bema [Βῆμα] judgment as a motive for doing it, only here he calls it "God's judgment seat." "You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat ( bema [Βῆμα])."

It is clear that this is not a judgment resulting in salvation or damnation. Nevertheless, it is an important judgment for it will determine what responsibilities Christians will have in the coming kingdom ( Matthew 25:21 ). According to Paul, some will come through with very little to show for their Christian lives, saved as though "through the flames" ( 1 Corinthians 3:15 ). What he means is that some Christians will be saved but with little, if anything, to show for their years on earth. Whether because of wrong motives or laziness or misplaced priorities, they will conclude their lives with very little of any eternal worth to show. While the whole salvation process is a gift ( Romans 6:23;  Ephesians 2:8-10 ), rewards are the result of human effort and are earned ( 1 Corinthians 3:14 ).

Depending on one's view of the temporal location of the rapture of the church, the bema [Βῆμα] judgment will take place either in heaven, while the great tribulation is transpiring here on the earth, or on earth at the beginning of Christ's reign after his second coming. In either case, it is preparatory to the Christians' reigning together with Christ on earth following his return.

An Identification of the Rewards . The rewards to be given out for faithful service at the bema [   1 Corinthians 9:25-27 ); a crown of righteousness for those who have longed for Christ's appearance ( 2 Timothy 4:8 ); a crown of life for those who have endured testing successfully, even to the point of death ( James 1:12;  Revelation 2:10 ); a crown of rejoicing for those who have seen souls saved ( 1 Thessalonians 2:19 ); and a crown of glory for those who have faithfully served God's people ( 1 Peter 5:4 ). In other places, the rewards are spoken of as "treasures in heaven" ( Matthew 6:20 ), a share in Christ's future role ( Revelation 2:26-27 ), and additional responsibilities and words of praise ("Well done, good and faithful servant"  Matthew 25:21,23;  Luke 19:17,19 ). It is worth noting again how intangible and immaterial these rewards are. Even the gift of eternal life is set forth as a prize to be gained. Eternal life is something to be laid hold of by the individual ( 1 Timothy 6:17-19 ).

While emphasizing the future rewards, it is also well to remember that there are many good results that come to the faithful believer in this life, things that can be called "rewards." Jesus said that he had come that his own might have life and have it to the full ( John 10:10 ). He also said that if his own would continue to seek first his Father's kingdom and his righteousness, all the temporal things they needed would be given to them as well ( Matthew 6:33 ).

The Standards for Reward . One clearly stated standard for rewards at the bema [   2 Corinthians 5:10 ). It is significant that Paul uses the Greek word "foolish" or "worthless" and not one of the Greek words for "evil." His point is that there are some things that are good for the advancement of the kingdom and righteousness and others that are not, even though one would not call them evil. For example, some may spend a great deal of time and money on personal hobbies that have no eternal worth. They are not evil, unless undue amounts of time and money are spent on them; but they may not be of any eternal profit either. In that sense, they can be said to be foolish, although not sinful.

Another point to be stressed regarding standards is that rewards will not be given necessarily for successful service as the world so often evaluates it. Paul notes that "it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" ( 1 Corinthians 4:2 ). Note that he does not say "successful" as one might consider success here on earth. What is rewarded is not primarily the visible accomplishments of the individual, but the faithful labor expended ( 1 Corinthians 15:58 ). On this basis, some who have been very faithful in a more private ministry may come in alongside of and even ahead of some others who have had more public ministries, but who have not been as faithful or as purely motivated. It is also significant to note that the five-talented and the two-talented servants ( Matthew 25:21,23 ) were given the same reward because both were equally faithful with what had been entrusted to them.

The Variation in Reward . Salvation and eternal life are the same for all Christians but the rewards given to each varies, dependent upon the faithful labor expended. It is clear from the parable of the talents in  Matthew 25 that the lord of the servants expected more from the five-talented man than he did from the two-talented or the one-talented individuals. Note that the talents were dispensed according to personal ability to handle them (v. 15). The ones with lesser amounts had lesser responsibility. Paul says that at the judgment of the believer's works, each will receive a reward according to his or her labor.   Matthew 5:12 speaks of great reward in heaven and   2 John 8 speaks of a full reward, both references indicating that the rewards will not all be the same.

The Forfeiture of Reward . Several passages warn against the forfeiture or loss of reward. It is clear that this does not mean a repossession of the reward by the Lord, for the rewards being spoken of here have not yet been given. According to Paul, it is possible to "build" on the foundation, which is Christ, but to be building with "wood, hay or straw, " which cannot stand the test of fire; the builder will be saved but "only as one escaping through the flames" ( 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ). In other words, people can be busy with the Lord's work and still receive no reward. They may be taking advantage of opportunities to labor for the Lord and yet not be engaged in endeavors that meet with God's approval because they have the wrong motives. For example, if they seek the praise of others, they can have that praise but receive no reward from God later ( Matthew 6:1-18 ). Along with this forfeiture of reward will go a severe sense of shame and remorse ( 1 John 2:28 ) and a possible divine reprimand for wasted living as a Christian ( Matthew 25:26-28 ). It is to be underscored, however, that this loss of reward does not mean a loss of salvation.

The Motivation of Reward for Christian Service . It is true that the reward motive for Christian service is not the highest biblical motive but it is a biblical one. As the highest, we are told to do all we do for God's glory (  1 Corinthians 10:31;  Colossians 3:23-24 ). We are to do all we can to be accepted by Christ, for the good of others, and out of gratitude and love for all God has done for us. Even the fear of the Lord that is going to fall on the unsaved is a legitimate incentive for service in seeing the lost saved ( 2 Corinthians 5:11 ).

Down the line, but certainly in the line of biblical motivations for ministry, is the reward motive. Jesus, knowing our human nature, spoke much about the rewards to come for Christian labor for the Christian cause. It must also be remembered, however, that Jesus encouraged humble, unselfish service for God's kingdom and his church, even without reward. He taught that, even if we could do everything commanded of us, we are still unprofitable servants since we have just done our duty ( Luke 17:7-10 ). In  Matthew 20:1-16 , all the servants receive a denarius for a day's work in the field, even though some had worked only a small fraction of the day. In fact, the righteous in  Matthew 25:37-39 were so unimpressed by the reward motive for doing good that they could not remember when they did the good things cited by the Lord. Apparently the promise of reward does not spoil the conduct coming from it or Jesus would not have used it; nor does it contradict the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone. We cannot demand recompense from the Lord, but he can sovereignly give rewards if he so wills.

Finally, two things should be pointed out. According to  Romans 8:8 and   Hebrews 11:6 , it is impossible for unbelievers to do anything that fundamentally meets with God's approval or that will receive a reward from God, no matter how impressive their deeds may be. However, once one is a believer, even as small a service as a cup of cold water given in the Lord's name ( Mark 9:41 ) will not go without divine notice and reward. Second, even the rewards earned are totally a result of God's grace since all successful labor for Christ is accomplished by Christ working in and through us. In  Romans 15:18 , Paul says he will not dare to speak of any accomplishment except those Christ has done through him.

Wesley L. Gerig

Bibliography . H. Z. Cleveland, EDT, pp. 951-52; W. M. Knoll, It Will Be Worth It All: A Study In Believer's Rewards .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

The Bible speaks of rewards in both good and bad senses; that is, rewards may result from either the good or the evil that a person does. This article is concerned only with rewards in the good sense, namely, the gifts God gives to his people for their faithfulness and service. (Concerning rewards for wrongdoing see Punishment .)

Rewards are not the same as salvation or eternal life. God saves sinners solely by his grace and gives eternal life as a free gift, not as a reward for personal effort ( Romans 6:23;  Ephesians 2:8-9; see Faith ). Nevertheless, Christians are answerable to God for the way they live. One day they will stand before God to give an account of themselves and receive what they deserve, whether good or bad, according to the way they have lived ( 2 Corinthians 5:10;  James 2:12; see Judgment ).

It is possible for Christians to be saved eternally but to receive no reward when God makes an assessment of their lives at the final judgment. This can happen if they live for themselves instead of for God. They build their lives according to the world’s values instead of according to God’s. When God tests what they have built, the test will show it to be worthless. They will lose all, though they themselves will be saved ( 1 Corinthians 3:11-15).

If Christians look for their reward in the form of praise from fellow believers, they will miss out on the eternal reward from God ( Matthew 6:1;  Matthew 6:5;  1 Corinthians 4:5). God rewards those who are diligent in their Christian service, who persevere amid trials, who endure sufferings patiently and who make sacrifices for the sake of others ( Matthew 5:12;  Matthew 6:4;  Matthew 10:40-42;  Galatians 6:9-10;  1 Thessalonians 2:19-20;  1 Peter 5:1-4;  2 John 1:8). Yet when they have faithfully done all this, they still do not deserve God’s rewards. They have merely done their duty ( Luke 17:10).

God’s rewards are therefore evidences of his immeasurable grace. They are out of all proportion to the good that people do ( Matthew 24:45-47;  Matthew 25:21). They should not be likened to material prizes such as people receive after a competition. Rather they represent the greater capacity that people have to enjoy those lasting realities of the kingdom of God around which true Christians have built their lives ( Matthew 5:3;  Matthew 25:21;  2 Timothy 4:8).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [4]

A — 1: Μισθός (Strong'S #3408 — Noun Masculine — misthos — mis-thos' )

primarily "wages, hire," and then, generally, "reward," (a) received in this life,  Matthew 5:46;  6:2,5,16;  Romans 4:4;  1—Corinthians 9:17,18; of evil "rewards,"  Acts 1:18; see also HIRE; (b) to be received hereafter,  Matthew 5:12;  10:41 (twice),42;   Mark 9:41;  Luke 6:23,35;  1—Corinthians 3:8,14;  2—John 1:8;  Revelation 11:18;  22:12 . Seee Wages

 Luke 23:41 Colossians 3:24Recompense.  Colossians 2:18Beguile

B — 1: Ἀποδίδωμι (Strong'S #591 — Verb — apodidomi — ap-od-eed'-o-mee )

"to give back," is nowhere translated "to reward" in the RV; AV,  Matthew 6:4,6,18 (see Recompense , B. No. 2);  Matthew 16:27;  2—Timothy 4:14;  Revelation 18:6 (see Render

King James Dictionary [5]

REWARD', a as aw. L. re, denoting return.

To give in return, either good or evil.

Thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.  1 Samuel 24 .

Hence, when good is returned for good, reward signifies to repay, to recompense, to compensate. When evil or suffering is return for injury or wickedness, reward signifies to punish with just retribution, to take vengeance on, according to the nature of the case.

I will render vengeance to my enemies and will reward them that hate me.  Deuteronomy 32 .

The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.  Matthew 16 .

In the latter passage, reward signifies to render with good and evil.


1. Recompense, or equivalent return for good done, for kindness, for services and the like. Rewards may consist of money, goods or any return of kindness or happiness.

The laborer is worthy of his reward.  1 Timothy 5 .

Great is your reward in heaven.  Matthew 5 .

Rewards and punishments presuppose moral agency, and something voluntarily done, well or : without which respect, though we may receive good, it is only a benefit and not a reward.

2. The fruit of men's labor or works.

The dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward.  Ecclesiastes 9 .

3. A bribe a gift to pervert justice.  Deuteronomy 27 . 4. A sum of money offered for taking or detecting a criminal, or for recovery of any thing lost. 5. Punishment a just return of evil or suffering for wickedness.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.  Psalms 91 .

6. Return in human applause.  Matthew 6 . 7. Return in joy and comfort.  Psalms 19 .

Webster's Dictionary [6]

(1): ( v. t.) To give in return, whether good or evil; - commonly in a good sense; to requite; to recompense; to repay; to compensate.

(2): ( n.) Regard; respect; consideration.

(3): ( n.) That which is given in return for good or evil done or received; esp., that which is offered or given in return for some service or attainment, as for excellence in studies, for the return of something lost, etc.; recompense; requital.

(4): ( n.) Hence, the fruit of one's labor or works.

(5): ( n.) Compensation or remuneration for services; a sum of money paid or taken for doing, or forbearing to do, some act.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [7]

rḗ - wôrd ´: In modern English (except when influenced by the Biblical forms) a "reward" is something given in recognition of a good act. In English Versions of the Bible, however, "reward" is used quite generally for anything given, and the term covers the recompense of evil (  Psalm 91:8 ), wages ( 1 Timothy 5:18 the King James Version), bribes (  Micah 7:3 ), and gifts ( Jeremiah 40:5 the King James Version). The Revised Version (British and American) has specialized the meaning in a number of cases (  Psalm 94:2;  Ezekiel 16:34;  Jeremiah 40:5 , etc.), but not systematically.