Matthew 3:12

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Address yourselves then to Him, and prevent, by a prompt and sincere conversion, that dreadful judgment which the just and severe Judge, whom I now announce to you, will most undoubtedly pass upon sinners, when he shall remove the chaff from the good grain, i.e. the bad from the good, calling the latter with him to his heavenly kingdom, and sending the former to burn in unquenchable fire. (Haydock) ...
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Non occ.: As in the preceding words John had explained more at length what hehad shortly preached in the words, “Repent ye,” so now follows a more full enlargement of the words, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., 7. 3: John baptizes not with the Spirit but with water, because hehad no power to forgive sins; he washes the body with water, but not at the same time the soul with pardon of sin. Why then does he baptize who could not remit sin, but that he may preserve in all things the office of forerunner? As his birth had preceded Christ’s birth, so his baptism should precede the Lord’s baptism. Mor. 34. 5: After the threshing is finished in this life, in which the grain now groans under the burden of the chaff, the fan of the last judgment shall so separate between them, that neither shall any chaff pass into the granary, nor shall the grain fall into the fire which consumes the chaff. ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Leaving to the Apostles the glory of bearing about the Gospel, to whose beautiful feet was due the carrying the tidings of God’s peace. He marks the time of our salvation and judgment in the Lord; those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit it remains that they be consummated by the fire of judgment. The wheat, i.e. the full and perfect fruit of the believer, he declares, shall be laid up in heavenly barns; by the chaff he means the emptiness of the unfruitful. ...
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AD 420
In the other Gospels it is, “whose shoe latchet I am not worthy to loose.” Here his humility, there his ministry is intended; Christ is the Bridegroom, and John is not worthy to loose the Bridegroom’s shoe, that his house be not called according to the Law of Moses and the example of Ruth, “The house of him thathath his shoe loosed.” John who is carnal cannot give spiritual baptism; he baptizes with water, which is matter; so that he baptizes matter with matter. Christ is Spirit, because He is God; the Holy Spirit is Spirit, the soul is spirit; so that Spirit with Spirit baptizes our spirit. The baptism of the Spirit profits as the Spirit enters and embraces the mind, and surrounds itas it were with an impregnable wall, not suffering fleshly lusts to prevail against it. It does not indeed prevail that the flesh should not lust, but holds the will that it should not consent with it.And as Christ is Judge, He baptizes in fire, i.e. temptation; mere man cannot baptize in fire. He alone is...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. 10, 1: For while as yet the sacrifice had not been offered, nor remission of sin sent, nor the Spirit had descended on the water, how could sin be forgiven? But since the Jews never perceived their own sin, and this was the cause of all their evils, John came to bring them to a sense of them by calling them to repentance. Or, John was sent to baptize, that to such as came to his baptism he might announce the presence among them of the Lord in the flesh, as himself testifies in another place, “That He might be manifested to Israel, therefore am I cometo baptise with water.” . Because then he baptized on account of Christ, therefore to them who came to him for baptism he preached that Christ should come, signifying the eminence of His power in the words, “He who cometh after me is mightier than I.”. When you hear “for He is mightier than I,” do not suppose this to be said byway of comparison, for I am not worthy to be numbered among his servants, thatI might undertake the lowest off...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Then, as having uttered the gentler part of his message, and soothed and relaxed the hearer, he again binds him up, that he may not become remiss. For such was the nature of the Jewish nation; by all encouraging things they were easily puffed up, and corrupted. Wherefore he again adduces his terrors, saying, Whose fan is in His hand. Matthew 3:12 Thus, as before he had spoken of the punishment, so here he points out the Judge likewise, and introduces the eternal vengeance. For He will burn the chaff, says he, with unquenchable fire. You see that He is Lord of all things, and that He is Himself the Husbandman; albeit in another place He calls His Father the same. For My Father, says He, is the Husbandman. John 15:1 Thus, inasmuch as He had spoken of an axe, lest you should suppose that the thing needed labor, and the separation was hard to make; by another comparison he suggests the easiness of it, implying that all the world is His; since He could not punish those who were not His o...
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Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Or, by this sign of baptism he separates the penitent from the impenitent, and directs them to the baptism of Christ. As though he had said, I indeed am mighty to invite to repentance, He to forgive sins; I to preach the kingdom of heaven, He to bestow it; I to baptize with water, He with the Spirit. By the fan is signified the separation of a just trial; that it is in the Lord's hand, means, ‘in His power,’ as it is written, “The Father hath committed all judgment to the Son.”. The cleansing of the floor will then be finally accomplished, when the Son of Man shall send His Angels, and shall gather all offences out of His kingdom. There is this difference between the chaff and the tares, in that the chaff is produced of the same seed as the wheat, but the tares from one of another kind. The chaff therefore are those who enjoy the sacraments of the faith, but are not solid; the tares are those who in profession as well as in works are separated from the lot of the good. ...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
There are five points in which Christ comes after John, His birth, preaching, baptism, death, and descent into hell. A beautiful expression is that, “mightier than I,” because he is mere man, the other is God and man. This His floor, to wit, the Church, the Lord cleanses in this life, both when by the sentence of the Priests the bad are put out of the Church, and when they are cut off by death. The unquenchable fire is the punishment of eternal damnation; either because it never totally destroys or consumes those it has once seized on, but torments them eternally; or to distinguish it from purgatorial fire which is kindled fora time and again extinguished. Whoever thinks that the Evangelists might have been so inspired by the Holy Spirit that they should have differed among themselves neither in the choice, nor the number, nor the order of their words, he does not see that by how much the authority of the Evangelists is preeminent, so much the more is to be by them established the vera...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Do not think, if you are baptized by Him and then remain an unrepentant sinner, that He will forgive you. For He also has a winnowing fan, that is, judgement and examination. namely, the Church, which holds many who are baptized, just as the threshing floor holds all the crop. But some of those who are baptized are chaff, those who are light-minded and moved about by the evil spirits, while others are the wheat, who bring benefit to others and nourish them with teachings and deeds. That fire is unquenchable. Therefore Origen is babbling nonsense when he says that there will be an end to hell. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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