7679. And Jehovah brought an east wind upon the land. That this signifies the means of destruction, is evident from the signification of "an east wind," as being a means of destruction. That an "east wind" has this signification is because it was dry and tempestuous, and consequently dried up the productions of that land, and by its force broke in pieces trees, and ships on the sea; from this, by it as a means is described the effect of Divine power. Moreover, by the "east" is signified the good of love and of charity, because in the supreme sense the Lord is signified (n. 101, 1250, 3708). And in its origin, being Divine, the good of love and of charity is most gentle, consequently it is so in its advance into heaven; but when it sinks down to the hells, it becomes harsh and severe, because it is turned into this by those who are there. Therefore the influx and presence of this Divine good there not only torments, but also devastates them. From all this also it is that by a "wind from the east," or an "east wind" is signified a means of destruction.
 That by this "wind" is signified a means of destruction, is plain from the passages in the Word where it is mentioned, as in the following:
Like an east wind I will scatter them before the enemy (Jer. 18:17).
The vine that is planted shall not prosper: shall it not utterly wither when the east wind toucheth it? (Ezek. 17:10).
That vine was plucked up in anger, she was cast down to the earth, and the east wind dried up her fruit (Ezek. 19:12).
He is fierce among his brethren, an east wind shall come, the wind of Jehovah, coming up from the wilderness, and his spring shall become dry, and his fountain shall be dried up (Hos. 13:15).
With the east wind thou wilt break the ships of Tarshish (Ps. 48:7).
They that despise* thee have brought thee into many waters, the east wind hath broken thee in the heart of the seas (Ezek. 27:26).
From these passages it is evident that an "east wind" signifies a means of destruction, because it was dry and tempestuous; whence also it signifies a means of devastation, as in Hosea:
Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind; every day he multiplieth a lie and vastation (Hos. 12:1);
where "Ephraim" denotes the intellectual of the church (n. 5354, 6222, 6238); "to feed on wind" is "to multiply a lie;" "and to pursue the east wind" is "to multiply vastation." A state of vastation and temptation is also called "the day of the east wind" in Isa. 27:7, 8.
* Contemnentes te: so also Schmidius; but the English versions and the Septuagint have "Thy rowers," from a different Hebrew word.--Reviser.