418. Holding the four winds of the earth, signifies the moderation of its influx. This is evident from the signification of "the four winds of the earth" as being everything Divine in heaven (of which presently); also from the signification of "holding them," as being to moderate its influx. But what is meant by moderating the influx of the Divine in heaven no one can know unless it is revealed to him, nor consequently can it be known what is signified by "holding the four winds of the earth." Without revelation, who would not think that "winds" here mean winds held back by angels, since it also follows "that the wind should not blow upon the earth, nor upon the sea, nor upon any tree." But "the winds of the earth," here as elsewhere in the Word signify everything Divine that is from the Lord in heaven, in particular, Divine truth, and because Divine truth flows from the Lord as a sun into the whole heaven, and from that into the whole earth, so "holding the winds" signifies to moderate influx. But that these things may be more clearly understood, it shall be told how it is with respect to that influx. The Lord is the sun of the angelic heaven; from Him as a sun all light and all heat there proceed. The light that proceeds is in its essence Divine truth, because it is spiritual light; and the heat that proceeds is in its essence Divine good, because it is spiritual heat. From the Lord as a sun these flow out into all the heavens accommodated to reception by the angels there, thus sometimes more moderately, sometimes more intensely. When they flow out more moderately the good are separated from the evil, but when more intensely the evil are cast out. When, therefore, the Last Judgment is at hand the Lord first flows in moderately, in order that the good may be separated from the evil. Because this separation is what is treated of in this chapter, the "holding of the four winds of the earth" is first mentioned, which signifies the moderation of the influx of Divine good and Divine truth from the Lord. It is evident from what follows in this chapter that this refers to the separation of the good from the evil, for it is said, "Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor any tree, till we shall have sealed the servants of God on their foreheads" (verse 3); and afterwards, to the end of the chapter, "those sealed," that is, the good separated from the evil are treated of. But respecting this separation more will be said in what follows, likewise respecting the casting out of the evil into the hells, which takes place afterwards.
Revelation 7:1, 7:3)
 "The four winds" signify all the Divine proceeding, because "the winds of heaven" signify the quarters of heaven, for the whole heaven is divided into four quarters, namely, east, west, south, and north. Into two quarters, the east and the west, the Lord flows with Divine good more powerfully than with Divine truth; and into two quarters, the south and the north, with Divine truth more powerfully than with Divine good; consequently those who are in the latter are more in wisdom and intelligence, and those in the former more in love and charity; and as the whole heaven is divided into four quarters, and those quarters are meant by "the four winds," therefore "the four winds" signify all the Divine proceeding. They are called "the four winds of the earth," because "the earth" means all the earth in the spiritual world, but in the spiritual sense "the earth" signifies heaven and the church (respecting which see the preceding article).
 From this the meaning of "the four winds" in other passages of the Word can be seen, as in Ezekiel:
The Lord Jehovih said unto me, Prophesy about the spirit, prophesy, and say to the spirit, Thus the Lord Jehovih hath said, Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may live. And when I had prophesied the spirit came, and they revived (Ezekiel 37:9, 10).
This is said of "the dry bones" seen by the prophet, by which the sons of Israel are meant (as is evident from verse 11 there); and this vision describes the reformation and establishment of a new church from those who have not before had any spiritual life. "The dry bones" are those who have nothing of spiritual life; the spiritual life given them by the Lord, from which the church is in them, is described by these words; "the spirit" about which the prophet prophesied, and by which they were revived, signifies spiritual life, which is a life according to the truths of the Word. "Come from the four winds, O spirit," signifies from the Divine of the Lord in heaven; "the four winds" meaning the four quarters in heaven, and the four quarters are everything Divine there (as has been said above). In the sense of the letter, "spirit" here means the breath (spiritus) of respiration, which is wind; it is therefore said that it should "come and breathe into these slain;" but the breath of respiration signifies as well the spiritual life, as will appear from what follows. "The slain" have a similar signification as "dry bones," namely, those who have no spiritual life.
Ezekiel 37:9-10, 37:11)
 In Zechariah:
There were seen four chariots coming out from between two mountains of copper, to which there were horses; and the angel said, These are the four winds of the heavens, going forth from standing by the Lord of the whole earth (5:1, 5).
This treats of the church which is to be extended among those who have not yet been in any light of truth of the church, because they have not had the Word. What "the four chariots" and "the four horses," and the many things respecting them signify, may be seen above n. 355, and what "the mountains of copper" signify, also above (n. 364, 405), where they are explained. Here "the four winds" signify every Divine proceeding, or the Divine good and Divine truth that constitute the church; it is therefore said "the winds of the heavens going forth from standing by the Lord of the whole earth;" "to go forth from standing by Him" signifying to proceed. "Chariots" and "horses" are called winds because "chariots" signify the doctrinals of good and truth, and "horses" an understanding of them, and both of these proceed from the Divine of the Lord.
The Apocalypse Explained 355, 364, 405; Zechariah 6:1, 6:5)
 In the Gospels:
The Son of man shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other end (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27).
All the successive states of the church, even to its end, when the Last Judgment takes place, are here predicted by the Lord; and "the angels with a great sound of a trumpet" signifies proclaiming the good tidings respecting the Lord; and "gathering together the elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other end," signifies the establishment of a new church; "the elect" mean those who are in the good of love and of faith; "the four winds" mean all states of good and truth; "from one end of the heavens to the other end" means the internals and the externals of the church. (This may be seen more clearly explained in Arcana Coelestia 4060.)
 In Daniel:
The he-goat made himself very great; but when he was strong the great horn was broken, and there came up in appearance four in its place towards the four winds of the heavens (Daniel 8:8).
What is meant by "the he-goat" and "ram" in this chapter may be seen above n. 316, namely, that "he-goat" signifies faith separate from charity, and therefore those who expect to be saved because they know the doctrinals and truth of the Word, and who give no thought to a life according to them; "horns" signify truths, and in the contrary sense, as here, falsities; "the great horn" signifies the ruling falsity, which is, that salvation comes merely through knowing and thus believing; "the great horn was broken, and there came up four in its place toward the four winds of heaven," signifies that out of the one principle, faith alone, many falsities conjoined with evils arise; "the great horn" signifying the ruling falsity, which is, that faith alone saves; "broken" signifying its division into many falsities arising therefrom; "four in its place" signifying the conjunction of these with evils; "toward the four winds of the heavens," signifying in respect to each and all things of falsity and evil, for "the four winds of heaven" signify every good and truth of heaven and the church and their conjunction, but in the contrary sense every evil and falsity and their conjunction. "The four winds of the heavens" signify also every evil and falsity, because in the four quarters in the spiritual world not only those who are in the good of love and in truths therefrom dwell, but also those who are in evils and in falsities therefrom; for the hells are in the same quarters, but deep beneath the heavens, for the most part in caverns, caves, and vaults (respecting which see above, n. 410.
The Apocalypse Explained 316, The Apocalypse Explained 410)
 In this same sense "the winds of the heavens" are mentioned in Jeremiah:
Upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four ends of the heavens, and I will disperse him toward all those winds, that there may be no nation to which the outcasts of Elam shall not come (4 Jeremiah 49:36).
Here "Elam" signifies those who are in the knowledges that are called the knowledges of faith, but not at the same time in any charity; "the four winds from the four ends of the heavens" signify falsities conjoined with evils; and "to disperse him toward all those winds" signifies into falsities of evil of every kind; "that there may be no nation to which the outcasts of Elam shall not come" signifies that there may be no evil to which falsity cannot be adapted, "nation" meaning evil, for knowledges alone without a life of charity bring forth innumerable falsities of evil.
 In Daniel:
I was seeing in my vision when it was night, and behold, the four winds of the heavens rushed upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea (7 :2, 3).
Here, too, "the four winds" signify falsities conjoined with evils, "the great sea" signifies hell from which they are, and "the four beasts" signify evils of every kind: but on this more in what follows. "The four winds" have a similar signification in Daniel (Daniel 11:4; also in Zechariah (Zechariah 2:6, 7). That "the four winds" signify the four quarters is clearly evident in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 42:16-19), where the measure of the house according to the four winds, that is, the four quarters, is treated of; and there the quarter is named by the same word in the Hebrew by which wind and spirit are named. But more will be seen concerning winds in the article that now follows.
Daniel 7:2-3; Revelation 7:1, Revelation 7:3; Zechariah 2:6-7)