“His winnowing fork
Is in his hand,
His threshing floors.
He will gather
Into his granary.
But he will burn
With an unquenchable fire.”
οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ διακαθᾶραι τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ καὶ συναγαγεῖν τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην αὐτοῦ, τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ.
Luke has John give this menacing saying that can be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 3:12. Thus, this might be a Q source saying, since it is not found in Mark or John. Luke has God, the Lord, as a farmer at harvest time. Luke had John say that this famer has his winnowing fork ready in his hand (οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ). He was going to clear the threshing floors (διακαθᾶραι τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ). He was going to gather his wheat into his barn or granary (καὶ συναγαγεῖν τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην αὐτοῦ). He would then burn up the leftover chaff (τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει) with an everlasting or unquenchable fire (πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ). This last phrase was a little different than that of Matthew. Nevertheless, this was a clear warning against the useless ones, who like chaff, would burn in an unstoppable fire.
Thus says Yahweh God.
‘I will deal
As you have done.
You have despised
You have broken
Yet I will remember
In the days
Of your youth.
I will establish
An everlasting covenant.”
Yahweh was going to establish an everlasting covenant with Jerusalem, even though she had forgotten and despised this oath. She had broken her covenant with Yahweh. However, he would remember the days of Jerusalem’s youth. He would remember the day that he established his everlasting covenant with her, despite the lack of commitment on her part.
“But Yahweh is the true God.
He is the living God.
He is the everlasting king.
At his wrath,
The earth quakes.
At his wrath,
The nations cannot endure
Jeremiah quickly points out the difference between Yahweh, his God, and all these other false wooden idol gods. Yahweh is the only true living God, an everlasting all powerful king. When he gets angry, the earth quakes. All the various countries could not endure this indignation. Yahweh is clearly not a useless piece of wood like the other idol gods.
“All your works shall give thanks to you!
All your faithful shall bless you!
They shall speak of the glory
Of your kingdom.
They shall tell of your power.
They shall make known to all people
Your mighty deeds.
They shall make known
The glorious splendor
Of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is
An everlasting kingdom.
Your dominion endures
Throughout all generations.”
David wanted all the works of Yahweh to give thanks. He wanted all the faithful to bless him. They should speak of the glory and the power of his kingdom. They should tell everybody about his mighty deeds. They should let everyone know about the glorious splendor of his kingdom. Yahweh’s kingdom is everlasting and endures forever through all generations. The next 4 letters of the Hebrew alphabet are found here in italic.
“You are righteous!
Your judgments are right.
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness.
You have appointed your decrees in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me.
Because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried.
Your servant loves it.
I am small.
I am despised.
Yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.
Your law is the truth.
Trouble has come upon me.
Anguish has come upon me,
However your commandments are my delight.
Your decrees are righteous forever.
Give me understanding!
Thus I may live.”
The psalmist declared that Yahweh was righteous. His judgments and decrees were righteous and faithful. The zeal of the psalmist consumed him when he found out that his foes had forgotten the words of Yahweh. He, the servant of Yahweh, loved the decrees. Although he was small and despised, he never forgot the precepts of Yahweh. Yahweh’s righteousness was everlasting because his law was the truth. Even though he was in trouble and anguish, the psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s commandments. All he asked for was understanding, so that he might live. So ends this section on the eighteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Cade.
“Blessed be Yahweh!
The God of Israel!
From everlasting to everlasting!
Let all the people say.
This 4th book of psalms ends with a rousing Alleluia, praise to Yahweh, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This doxology praise is an addition to this psalm since it probably belonged at the end of Psalm 105. However, it seems a fitting end to this book of psalms with this everlasting praise to Yahweh with the great “Amen.”
“O offspring of his servant!
Children of Jacob!
His chosen ones!
He is Yahweh our God!
His judgments are over all the earth.
He is mindful of his covenant forever.
He is mindful of the word that he commanded,
For a thousand generations.
That is the covenant
That he made with Abraham.
He had a sworn promise to Isaac.
He confirmed it to Jacob as a statute.
He has an everlasting covenant with Israel.
‘To you I will give the land of Canaan.
It is as your portion for an inheritance.’”
The people of Israel are offspring of Abraham. They are the children of Jacob. They are the chosen ones. Yahweh is their God. He judges the whole earth. He has made a covenant forever that he does not forget so that it will last 1,000 generations. This is the covenant that he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was a promise to Isaac and a statute to Jacob. There would be an everlasting covenant with Israel as Jacob became Israel. The land of Canaan will be their inheritance.
“As for mortals,
Their days are like grass.
They flourish like a flower of the field.
As the wind passes over it,
It is gone.
Its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of Yahweh
Is from everlasting to everlasting
Upon those who fear him.
His righteousness lasts
To their children’s children.
His righteousness lasts
To those who keep his covenant.
They must remember to do his commandments.”
Yahweh loves mortals, even though they are like grass and flowers. Mortals flourish like beautiful flowers of the field, but then when a wind passes over, they are gone. They are no more. However, the steadfast love of Yahweh is everlasting. To those who fear him, his righteousness will last to their children’s children, if they keep his covenant and do his commandments.
O God of our salvation,
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
That we may give thanks to your holy name,
And glory in your praise.
Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel!
From everlasting to everlasting!’
Then all the people said ‘Amen!’ and praised Yahweh.”
Finally, we come to end of this song or hymn. God will save us. He will rescue us from all the nations around us. However, we have to give thanks and praise to Yahweh, the God of Israel forever. The song ends with all the people responding, “Amen.” They have agreed with this great song.