A wise king separates out 1 the wicked; he turns the threshing wheel over them. 2
A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.
A wise king winnows the wicked, And drives the threshing wheel over them.
A wise king finds the wicked, lays them out like wheat, then runs the crushing wheel over them.
After careful scrutiny, a wise leader makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts.
A wise king puts evil-doers to flight, and makes their evil-doing come back on them.
A wise king winnows the wicked, and drives the wheel over them.
A wise king sifts out the wicked, And brings the threshing wheel over them.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
out the wicked
; he turns
the threshing wheel
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “winnows” (so NAB, NASB, NRSV). The sage draws on the process of winnowing to explain how the king uncovers and removes wickedness. The verb from which the participle מְזָרֶה (mÿzareh) is derived means “to separate; to winnow; to scatter”; the implied comparison means that the king will separate good people from bad people like wheat is separated from chaff. The image of winnowing is also used in divine judgment. The second line of the verse uses a detail of the process to make the point. Driving a wheel over the wheat represents the threshing process; the sharp iron wheels of the cart would easily serve the purpose (e.g., Isa 28:27-28).
2 tn The king has the wisdom/ability to destroy evil from his kingdom. See also D. W. Thomas, “Proverbs 20:26,” JTS 15 (1964): 155-56.