Winnowing Fan/Fork

In Matt. 3:12 the Holy Spirit inspired John to speak to them about a winnowing fork (some translations say fan, but it actually refers to a “pitch fork”).  His audience full of farmers and those in agriculture would have been well aware of the customs and procedures done for wheat harvesting and would fully understand the significance of what God was wanting them to know.  It is us, here in our modern unfamiliar world/culture views who are the ones who need to see the power of what they are being told – the “winnowing fork” is an “end of the harvest” tool used to throw the wheat up in the air to separate the wheat from the chaff.”

  • A winnowing fork is used at the “end” of the harvest once all of the wheat/tares are gathered.
    • John is giving his Hebrew Old Covenant audience clear visual imagery about the whole passage he had just spoken:
      • It was all stated as present tense/time, and imminent to them.
      • The Kingdom had drawn near (vs. 2)
      • The axe is at their root (vs. 10)
      • Christ’s winnowing fork for the end of the harvest was already in His hand.


See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:

John the Baptist/Baptizer


Related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):

[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 6 Old Covenant Hebrews in the New Testament Times”]

[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 2 Rev. Chapters 5 thru 9”]

[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 7 Rev. Chapters 19 and 20 (sub study on The Wedding)”]