The Bible has much to say about the ‘east wind.’ Such wind is both literal and symbolic. In all cases the east wind is in the hands of the Almighty.
The first mention of the east wind is found in Genesis. Recall Pharaoh’s dream while Joseph was in prison. In his dream, pharaoh saw seven heads of grain on one stalk, full and good.
“Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them…and devoured the seven plump and full heads.” Genesis 41:6-7
‘Blighted’ means to scorch, or burn. The blighted heads of grain would be useless.
Joseph was summoned from prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph told Pharaoh that there would be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of extreme famine.
Another great example of the east wind is found in the book of Exodus.
The east wind was used by God to enact the eighth plague on Egypt prior to the exodus. God told Moses to stretch his hand with his rod over the land of Egypt for the locusts.
“So Moses stretched out his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind on the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.” Exodus 10:13
The locust plague was devastating.
“…So there remained nothing green on the trees or on the plants of the field throughout all the land of Egypt.” Exodus 10:15b
After Pharaoh admitted his sin against the LORD, he asked Moses to plead to God to remove the plague.
“So he (Moses) went out from Pharaoh and entreated the LORD. And the LORD turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea.” Exodus 10:18-29
Now let’s review several Scripture passages that use the term ‘east wind’ to represent devastating results of naiveté or foolish actions.
For example, Hosea speaks of the east wind as applicable to the vanity of northern Ephraim and southern Israel.
“Ephraim has encircled Me with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit …Ephraim…pursues the east wind…also they make a covenant (treaty) with the Assyrians…” Hosea 11:12a, 12:1
The east wind in this context refers to Ephraim making a treaty with his enemies. Such a strategy will produce devastating results.
“Though he is fruitful among his brethren, an east wind shall come; the wind of the LORD shall come up from the wilderness…” Hosea 13:15
The LORD would bring upon Ephraim an east wind named Assyria.
Throughout Israel’s history, God has used the ‘east’ to chastise His people.
Thus, when the children of Israel disobeyed their God or did evil in His sight, God would call up the people of the east.
“…So it was, whenever Israel had sown…the people of the East would come up against them…and destroy the produce of the earth…and leave no sustenance for Israel…” Judges 6:1, 3-4
One of Israel’s greatest sins was emulating the people of the east, much to God’s disfavor. Isaiah revealed Israel’s sin as he explained God’s required response.
“For you have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with eastern ways.” Isaiah 2:6
Another great example is found in the prophecy of Ezekiel as he describes God’s chastisement on a nation that forsook her God.
“But she was plucked up in fury…and the east wind dried her fruit…and fire consumed them.” Ezekiel 19:12
And then in the final Book of the Bible, prior to the great battle of Armageddon, John defines the enemies to be used by God to chastise His people.
“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.” Revelation 16:12
Does the world even realize what’s coming? Can America read the leaves on the fig tree?
But watch for the ‘winds of change.’ In days of old, the east wind brought devastation; however, in the future, from the east will come rest when Christ enters the millennial temple gate from the east.