The chaff burns (Mt 3:12-3:12)

“His winnowing fork

Is in his hand.

He will clear

His threshing floors.

He will gather

His wheat

Into the barn granary.

But he will burn

The chaff

With an unquenchable fire.”

 

οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ διακαθαριεῖ τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην, τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ.

 

Once again, there is a common source for John’s menacing saying between Luke, chapter 3:17, and Matthew, perhaps Q. God, the Lord of this farmer, has the winnowing fork in his hand (οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ). He was going to clear the threshing floors (καὶ διακαθαριεῖ τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ,). He was going to gather his wheat into his barn in the granary (καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην). The leftover chaff would be burned with an everlasting fire that could not be put out (καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην). This was a warning against the useless ones who would burn in an unstoppable fire.

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