Reaping and harvest: the ‘unrighteous’ are judged
THE HARVEST OF THE EARTH
Jacobello Alberegno (...-bef. 1397)
Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice
The Bible text (see below) is strictly adhered to. The judgement of this harvest consists of gathering the righteous. He who will lead the Final Judgement has a sharp sickle in His hand, and the angel emerging from the temple throws the sickle on the grapes in the field. The harvesters are angels whose job consists of separating the righteous from the unrighteous, the wheat from the chaff. The ripe fruits indicate that autumn, traditionally the harvest season, has arrived. The wrath of God will strike the Earth and those who have produced no fruit will have to face His judgement (Matthew 21: 33-43). The grape harvest represents this judgement of the ‘unrighteous’, and the great winepress will be reserved for those who refuse to repent. These unrepentant sinners will be thrown into ‘the great winepress of the wrath of God’.
Bible text: New Testament, Revelation 14:9-20
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs" (Revelation 14: 9-20).
GALLERIES: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AND CHRISTIAN ICONOGRAPHY
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