418. Holding the four winds of the earth.- That this signifies the modification of its influx, is evident from the signification of the four winds of the earth, as denoting all the Divine in heaven, of which we shall speak presently; and from the signification of holding them as meaning to modify its influx. But what the modification of the influx of the Divine in heaven means, no one can know but him to whom it is revealed, and consequently in regard to the signification of holding the four winds of the earth. Without revelation, who would not suppose that by the winds are meant winds which the angels held back, for it is said, "that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree." But by the winds of the earth, here as elsewhere in the Word, is signified all the Divine from the Lord in heaven, specifically the Divine Truth, and for the reason that it flows from the Lord as the Sun into the whole heaven, and thence into the whole earth. Therefore, by holding the winds is signified to modify influx. But, in order that these things may be more clearly understood, the operation of that influx shall also be explained.
The Lord is the Sun of the angelic heaven, and from Him, as the Sun, proceed all the light and all the heat there. The light which proceeds is in its essence Divine Truth, because it is spiritual light; and the heat which proceeds is in its essence Divine Good, because it is spiritual heat. These flow forth from the Lord as the Sun into all the heavens, adapted for reception by the angels there, sometimes therefore somewhat gently, and sometimes more powerfully; when gently, then the good are separated from the evil; but when powerfully, then the evil are rejected. When, therefore, a last judgment is at hand, then the Lord first flows in gently, in order that the good may be separated from the evil. Since this separation is treated of in this chapter, therefore it is said "holding the four winds of the earth," by which is signified the modification of the influx of Divine Good and Divine Truth from the Lord. That the separation of the good from the evil is the subject treated of, is evident from what follows in this chapter; for it is said, "Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God on their foreheads" (verse 3); and afterwards to the close of the chapter, those who were sealed, or the good separated from the evil, is the subject treated of. Further reference will be made to this separation, and also to the casting down of the evil into the hells, which afterwards takes place.
Revelation 7:1, Revelation 7:3)
 The four winds signify all the proceeding Divine, because the winds of heaven signify the quarters of heaven, for the whole heaven is divided into four quarters - the eastern, western, southern, and northern. Into the two quarters, the eastern and the western, the influx of Divine Good from the Lord is more powerful than that of Divine Truth; and into the southern and northern quarters, the influx of Divine Truth is more powerful than that of Divine Good; therefore the latter are more in wisdom and intelligence, but the former more in love and charity. And because the whole heaven is divided into four quarters, signified by the four winds, therefore, by the four winds is signified all the proceeding Divine. The reason why they are called the four winds of the earth is, that by the earth is meant all the earth in the spiritual world, but in the spiritual sense earth (terra) signifies heaven and the church, upon which subject the preceding article may be consulted.
 It is evident from these facts what is meant by the four winds in other passages of the Word; as in Ezekiel:
The Lord Jehovih said unto me, "Prophesy unto the spirit, prophesy, and say to the spirit, Thus saith the Lord Jehovih, Come from the four winds, O spirit, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. And when I prophesied, the spirit came into them, and they lived again" (xxxvii. 9, 10).
This is said of the dry bones seen by the prophet, which mean the children of Israel, as is evident from the 11th verse, and by that vision is described the reformation and establishment of a new church from those who had not before been in any spiritual life. The dry bones denote those who are void of spiritual life. The spiritual life given them by the Lord from the church which exists in them is described by these words. By the spirit unto which he prophesied, and from which they lived again, is signified 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 denoting the four quarters in heaven, and the four quarters denoting all the Divine there, as stated above. In the sense of the letter, by spirit is there meant the breath of respiration, which is wind. It is therefore said, "Come and breathe upon these slain;" and by the breath of respiration is equally signified spiritual life, as will be seen from what follows. Those who have no spiritual life are signified both by the slain and by dry bones.
Ezekiel 37:9-10, 37:11)
 In Zechariah:
There were seen "four chariots coming out from between two mountains of brass. There were horses in them. And the angel said, "These are the four winds of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth" (vi. 1, 5).
The subject here is the church which was to be made known amongst those who were not yet in any light of the truth of the church, because they were not in possession of the Word. What the four chariots and the four horses signify, and the things related concerning them, and what the mountains of brass signify, may be seen above (n. 355, 364, 405), where they are explained. By the four winds is there signified all the proceeding Divine, or the Divine Good and Divine Truth, from which the church exists; it is therefore said, "The four winds of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." To go forth from before Him means to proceed. Those winds are called chariots and horses, because chariots signify doctrinals of good and truth, and horses the understanding of these, and both the latter and the former proceed from the Divine of the Lord.
The Apocalypse Explained 355, 364, 405; Zechariah 6:1, 6:5)
 In the gospels, it is said 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" (Matt. xxiv. 31; Mark xiii. 27).
All the successive states of the church, even to its end, when a last judgment takes place, are here predicted by the Lord. By the "angels with a great sound of a trumpet," is signified evangelization concerning the Lord; and by gathering together the elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other, is signified the establishment of a new church. The elect are those who are in the good of love and faith; the four winds denote all states of good and truth; "one end of the heavens to the other," denotes the interior and exterior things of the church. These things are more clearly explained in the Arcana Coelestia (n. 4060).
Arcana Coelestia 4060; Mark 13:27; Matthew 24:31)
 In Daniel:
"The he-goat of the goats magnified himself exceedingly; but when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and in its place came up four notable ones toward the four winds of the heavens" (viii. 8).
What is meant by the he-goat of the goats and by the ram in that chapter may be seen above (n. 316), namely, that by the he-goat of the goats is signified faith separated from charity, consequently, those who imagine that they are saved because they know the doctrinals and truths of the Word, and yet care nothing for a life according to them. Horns signify truths, and in the opposite sense, as here, falsities; the great horn signifies the dominant falsity, that merely knowing and thence believing is salvation. That the great horn was broken, and in its place four notable ones came up toward the four winds of the heavens signifies, that from that one source of faith alone many falsities conjoined with evils arise; the great horn denoting the dominant falsity that faith alone saves, and its being broken, signifies division into the many falsities which arise therefrom. "In its place, four" signifies, their conjunction with evils; "toward the four winds of the heavens" signifies, in regard to every detail pertaining to falsity and evil; for the four winds of the heavens signify every good and truth of heaven and the church, and their conjunction, but in the opposite sense, every evil and falsity and their conjunction. The reason why the four winds of the heavens signify also every evil and falsity is, that not only those who are in the good of love, and in truths thence, dwell in the four quarters of the spiritual world, but also those who are in evils and falsities thence, the hells being in the same quarters, but deep under the heavens, for the most part in caverns, dens, and vaults. Concerning which, see above (n. 410).
Daniel 8:8; The Apocalypse Explained 316, The Apocalypse Explained 410)
 In this same sense the winds of the heavens are mentioned in Jeremiah:
"And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens, and will scatter them toward all those winds; so that there is no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come" (xlix. 36).
Here, by Elam are signified those who are in the knowledges of faith, but not at the same time in any charity; by "the four winds from the four quarters of the heavens," are signified falsities conjoined with evils; and by scattering them into all those winds, is signified into falsities of evil of every kind. "That there is no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come," signifies that there is no evil to which falsity cannot be adapted, nation denoting evil; for knowledges alone without the life of charity bring forth falsities of evil without number.
 In Daniel:
"I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heavens broke forth upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea" (vii. 2, 3).
The four winds also, here, signify falsities conjoined with evils: the great sea signifies hell, where they originate, and the four beasts signify evils of every kind; but more will be said upon this subject in what follows. The same is meant by the "four winds" mentioned in Daniel (xi. 4); and also in Zech. (ii. 6, 7). That the four winds signify the four quarters, is fully evident in Ezekiel (xlii. 16-19), where the subject is the measure of the house according to the four winds, that is, the quarters. In Hebrew the same word is used for quarter as for wind and breath. More will be seen concerning winds in the following article.
Daniel 7:2-3, Daniel 11:4; Ezekiel 42:16-19; Revelation 7:1, 7:3; Zechariah 2:6-7)