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Thread: purge his floor

  1. blouen's Avatar
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    #1

    purge his floor

    Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.

    * What does he do here?


    Ref. The Bible, Matt.3.12


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    #2

    Re: purge his floor

    He is winnowing the grain - with a "fan" [which can be anything that will create a draught] he is blowing the chaff [the outer skin] off the kernel or grain of the wheat/ Once he has cleaned his wheat, he burns the chaff.

    The word "fan" is an odd one here - it is also translated as a "winnowing fork" or "winnowing shovel", or not even directly translated. What is essential is that the grain (mankind) is cleaned of its outer husk by allowing a wind to blow it off. This image is a good one of the technique: http://tinyurl.com/2kwdq4

    Metaphorically, "he" - ie Christ - will cleanse mankind of sin.

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    #3

    Re: purge his floor

    As a footnote:

    "Fan" translates the Greek ptyon, a kind of shovel or fan-shaped basket, with which corn after threshing was thrown up into the wind, to separate the chaff. Cf. the mystica vannus Iacchi of Virgil, of which there is a picture here.

    (Perhaps the Bacchic resonance is not entirely accidental.)

    "Purge" translates diakathariei, "he will cleanse thoroughly"; "floor", halôna, the "threshing floor", where the winnowing took place. (There's a picture of one here.)

    Ritual cleansing of implements, locations, etc. after special uses or occasions was particularly important in the ancient world.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

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    #4

    Re: purge his floor

    This, actually, is the same image I had in mind, but I got troubled by the word ¨fan¨. It made me think of the big fans the Chinese people use when dancing. Then, I wondered if ancient people had a different way of winnowing, with the use of fans or what.

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