The process of hurling threshed grain into the air with a kind of fan; the wind separated the valuable grain from the chaff (Ruth 3: 2) so that it could be stored. It was John the Baptist's metaphor for the divine judgement (Luke 3: 17).
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"winnowing." In A Dictionary of the Bible. Ed. W. R. F. Browning. Oxford Biblical Studies Online. Feb 1, 2015. <http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/opr/t94/e2043>.
"winnowing." In A Dictionary of the Bible. , edited by W. R. F. Browning. Oxford Biblical Studies Online, http://www.oxfordbiblicalcstudies.com/article/opr/t94/e2043 (accessed Feb 1, 2015).