separate the sheep from the goats

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separate the sheep from the goats

To separate the good from the bad. In this Biblical phrase, sheep represent the good and goats the bad. When you choose the students for your homeroom, don't separate the sheep from the goats and give me all the troublemakers!
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate the sheep from the goats

Distinguish between good and bad individuals, or superior and inferior ones. For example, In a civil war where both sides commit atrocities, you can't separate the sheep from the goats . This term refers to Jesus's prophecy in the New Testament (Matthew 25:32) that the sheep (that is, the compassionate) will sit on God's right hand (and find salvation), and the goats (the hard-hearted) will sit on the left (and be sent to damnation).
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate the sheep from the goats

or

sort out the sheep from the goats

If you separate the sheep from the goats or sort out the sheep from the goats, you examine a group of things or people and decide which are good and which are bad. It is getting harder and harder to sort out the sheep from the goats among the 4,000 or so titles for children that are published every year. Testing exists to separate the sheep from the goats. Note: The Bible says that on the Day of Judgment, Jesus will divide his sheep from the goats. The sheep represent those who are going to heaven, and the goats represent those who are going to hell. (Matthew 25:32)
See also: goat, separate, sheep

separate the sheep from the goats

divide people or things into superior and inferior groups.
This expression alludes to the parable of the Last Judgement in Matthew 25:32–3: ‘And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left’.
See also: goat, separate, sheep

sort out/separate the ˌsheep from the ˈgoats

separate the good people from the bad people: The exams at the end of the first year usually separate the sheep from the goats.This comes from the belief that on Judgement Day (= the day the world ends) God will judge everybody who ever lived and decide who was good (= the sheep) and who was bad (= the goats).
See also: goat, out, separate, sheep, sort
References in periodicals archive ?
It's actually hard to sort the sheep from the goats up here on Paradis-sur-Tweed: even back in 1513 the Border reivers looted both armies' baggage trains at battle's end, so it was no surprise to see as many English faces as Scots at last week's fund-raising hootenanny in Branxton.