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Matthew 3:12 "And His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

< Matthew 3:11
Matthew 3:13 >

      12. Whose fan--winnowing fan.
      is in his hand--ready for use. This is no other than the preaching of the Gospel, even now beginning, the effect of which would be to separate the solid from the spiritually worthless, as wheat, by the winnowing fan, from the chaff. (Compare the similar representation in Mal 3:1-3).
      and he will throughly purge his floor--threshing-floor; that is, the visible Church.
      and gather his wheat--His true-hearted saints; so called for their solid worth (compare Am 9:9; Lu 22:31).
      into the garner--"the kingdom of their Father," as this "garner" or "barn" is beautifully explained by our Lord in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Mt 13:30, 43).
      but he will burn up the chaff--empty, worthless professors of religion, void of all solid religious principle and character (see Ps 1:4).
      with unquenchable fire--Singular is the strength of this apparent contradiction of figures:--to be burnt up, but with a fire that is unquenchable; the one expressing the utter destruction of all that constitutes one's true life, the other the continued consciousness of existence in that awful condition.

      Luke adds the following important particulars (Lu 3:18-20):

Lu 3:18:
      And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people--showing that we have here but an abstract of his teaching. Besides what we read in Joh 1:29, 33, 34; 3:27-36, the incidental allusion to his having taught his disciples to pray (Lu 11:1) --of which not a word is said elsewhere--shows how varied his teaching was.

Lu 3:19:
      But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done--In this last clause we have an important fact, here only mentioned, showing how thoroughgoing was the fidelity of the Baptist to his royal hearer, and how strong must have been the workings of conscience in that slave of passion when, notwithstanding such plainness, he "did many things, and heard John gladly" (Mr 6:20).

Lu 3:20:
      Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison--This imprisonment of John, however, did not take place for some time after this; and it is here recorded merely because the Evangelist did not intend to recur to his history till he had occasion to relate the message which he sent to Christ from his prison at Machærus (Lu 7:18, &c.).

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Garner?

Where In Scripture does John the Baptist give testimony about Jesus as messiah?

Where in scripture does it mention the winnowing of Wheat?

Where in scripture does it mention the chaff of Wheat?

Where in scripture does it mention the punishment of the Wicked?

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Matthew 3 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Jesus is baptized, and John sees the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and he hears a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew Chapter 3

Matthew 3:16-17 - And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Outline
The preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-6)
John reproves the Pharisees and Sadducees
(Matthew 3:7-12)
The baptism of Jesus
(Matthew 3:13-17)

Summary
1 The King's Herald
13 The King's baptism

Jesus is Baptized
Painting of Jesus being baptized by John the baptist by Dore.
Jesus is baptized, the dove descends, he hears the Father's voice

Topics for Bible Study
In Those Days Came
John The Baptist
Preaching
The Wilderness Of Judaea
Repent
The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand
This Is He
Spoken Of By The Prophet Isaiah
The Voice Of One Crying In The Wilderness
Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord
Make His Paths Straight
John Had His Raiment Of Camel's Hair
Leather Girdle About His Loins
His Meat Was Locusts And Wild Honey
Then Went Out To Him Jerusalem
All Judea
All The Region Round About Jordan
Baptized Of Him In Jordan
Confessing Their Sins
Pharisees And Sadducees
Generation Of Vipers
Who Hath Warned You To Flee From The Wrath To Come
Bring Fruits Meet For Repentance
Do Not Think We Have Abraham To [Our] Father
God Is Able Of These Stones To Raise Up Children Unto Abraham
Axe Is Laid Unto The Root Of The Trees
Every Tree Which Bringeth Not Forth Good Fruit Is Hewn Down
Cast Into The Fire
Baptize You With Water Unto Repentance
He That Cometh After Me Is Mightier Than I
Whose Shoes I Am Not Worthy To Bear
He Shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost
He Shall Baptize You With Fire
Fan [Is] In His Hand
He Will Throughly Purge His Floor
Gather His Wheat Into The Garner
He Will Burn Up The Chaff With Unquenchable Fire
Then Cometh Jesus From Galilee To Jordan Unto John
To Be Baptized Of Him
John Forbad Him
I Have Need To Be Baptized Of Thee, And Comest Thou To Me
Suffer [It To Be So] Now
Thus It Becometh Us To Fulfil All Righteousness
Jesus, When He Was Baptized, Went Up Straightway Out Of The Water
The Heavens Were Opened Unto Him
He Saw The Spirit Of God Descending Like A Dove
And Lighting Upon Him
A Voice From Heaven, Saying
This Is My Beloved Son, In Whom I Am Well Pleased

Dove Descending
Painting of a dove descending out of Heaven
Painting of a dove descending out of Heaven

Historical Background
John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Jesus is baptized, and John sees the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and he hears a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Ancient Customs
Preaching
Camel's Hair
Leather Girdle
Locusts
Wild Honey
Confessing Sins
Vipers
Fruits
Stones
Axe
Purge His Floor
Gather His Wheat
Shoes
Dove

Ancient People
John the Baptist
Isaiah
Pharisees
Sadducees
Abraham
Jesus
The Holy Spirit
The Father
 

Geography
Wilderness Of Judaea
Kingdom Of Heaven
Jerusalem
Judea
The Jordan
Galilee
Heaven

Maps
Map of Ancient Israel - The Jordan River

Jesus Written in Hebrew
Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Matthew Resources

Map of Ancient Israel - The Jordan River