Anemos is Greek for Wind
The English word, “wind” is not always translated from the same Greek word. There are actually three different Greek words which are translated “wind”. Pneuma, which is actually spirit, pneo, which is a derivative of pneuma meaning breath, and anemos which is wind. The word anemos is the word used in Revelation 7:1 and in Matthew 24, and so for the purpose of this article, I will focus on anemos and use the Greek Septuagint so we can cross reference the correct use of wind in the old testament.
Winds of fortune
Anemos is primarily used in reference to judgment- specically scattering errant people like the wind scatters the chaff.
Other types of judgment or calamity are also described by wind.
When the ten plagues of Egypt were sentenced, the locusts were literally brought in by the wind.
The wind can also bring deliverance as when God parted the Red Sea with a strong east wind, and when he gathers his elect from the earth.
The Four Winds
But the FOUR winds are used mainly in prophetic passages and visions.
The four horns of the beast in Daniels vision were scattered to the cardinal directions
In Daniel’s vision the sea is tossed by the four winds when the beast emerges from the sea
What role do the four winds have in Revelation 7?
Our primary verse we are trying to understand is Rev 7:1 KJV
“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.”
So to provide a bit of context, Rev. 7 follows the passage about the opening of the seals and the four horsemen. It turns out that the four horsemen of Rev 6 have a deep connection to the four winds of Rev. 7. To better understand these horsemen and the connection to the four winds, we need to look at a cross reference passage in Zechariah. The word wind is actually NOT found in the KJV. It is however in the original Greek manuscript and the verse turns up in a search of the Greek word anemos used in Revelation 7. Here is the passage from the KJV and from Brenton’s translation of the Septuagint showing the anemos/wind.
Zec 6:1-8 KJV “And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. 4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. 7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.”
The LXX says, “5 And the angel that talked with me answered and said, These are the four winds of heaven, and they are going forth to stand before the Lord of all the earth.”
The four winds ARE the four Horsemen
So, the Four Horses in Zechariah, are the same four horses in Revelation, and are also the four winds. Their job is to bring judgments on errant peoples so that they will repent and the wrath of God will be appeased. We will also see that they bring blessings as well in a bit. So these winds/ horses have been bringing judgment and opening the seals, which is not a good thing, obviously, and men are not repenting, God’s wrath is not turned back so the seals continue to open. Instead of repentance, the 5th seal reveals that God’s elect instead gets martyred. So, in our verse in Revelation, the horsemen, or four winds, or angels are going through the earth causing calamities, and then are restrained a holy angel while he goes and seals the elect remnant of Israel (not the church elect, but the Jews)
Rev 7:2-3 KJV 2 “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Then after a description about how each of the tribes had 12,000 people sealed, there is this verse:
Rev 7:9 KJV 9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;”
This is not the Israelites that were just sealed because it says all nations and kindreds and people and tongues, and unlike the 144000, they cannot be numbered. This is the church. And we can see more information about this incident because Matthew 24 tells us that the elect will be gathered together from the four winds.
The four winds gather the church to be raptured
So, it is hard to tell by Rev 7 if the church is delivered FROM the four winds or BY the four winds, but we can cross reference a passage in Ezekiel for clues. Ezekiel saw a vision of a valley full of dead men’s bones. God commanded Ezekiel to command the wind to raise an army up from the bones. The four winds breathed life into the bones and the bodies were restored and became a great army.
The vision here specifies Israel, but the precedent for the four winds to be commanded to breath life into the dead is revealed. Israel will also be resurrected after the 6th trumpet in a very similar passage that clarifies Jewish lineage of that congregation.
It would not be unprecedented for the wind to deliver after it has brought judgment. Remember the passage in Exodus where the wind brought the locusts, and then returned them to the sea.
The Matthew 24 and Revelation 7 passages have other signs that match up to make it an undeniable cross reference. See the article about the horsemen.
The four winds in antiquity
The book of Enoch gives some details about the four winds. It describes gates at the ends of the earth on all cardinal directions through which the winds pass through and the blessings and injuries they are responsible for.
It is interesting that the tabernacle is modeled after the earth described in Enoch. On the four sides of the tabernacle there were doors for the four winds. At the doors were attendants or porters just like there are angels at the gates at the end of the earth in Enoch. The word “wind” is left out of the KJV, but anemos is used in the Septuagint.
The four winds are angels or spirit entities
We have further evidence to connect the wind and the horses as spiritual entities.
Revelation 7 shows a relationship between the wind and angels, as does Psalm 35:5 when the people are said to be chased by an angel like chaff before the wind.
The horse imagery of the four winds
Enoch remarks about the form of the fallen angels as being horse-like in a vision he received.
Horse imagery in the occult
We can also see some sources outside Christianity that will help to show that the horse/ angel/ wind connection is not a just Christian idea, but a matter of fact that was known at one time to mankind. Lets take a look at some Greek mythology. The Greek word for wind is ἄνεμος (anemos). The Anemoi (plural for wind in Greek) was the name given to the Greek gods of the winds. The Anemoi are sons of Aeolus. There names are Boreas, god of the north wind, Zephrus, god of the west wind, Notus, god of the south wind, and Eurus, god of the east wind. The Roman version of the wind gods also were assigned cardinal directions, including intercardinal directions and there were 12 gods.
Boreas was closely associated with horses. He was said to have fathered twelve colts after taking the form of a stallion
They were also sometimes depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. The Spartans were reported to sacrifice a horse to the winds on Mount Taygetus. Notus (Νότος, Nótos) was the Greek god of the south wind. He was associated with the desiccating hot wind of the rise of Sirius after midsummer, was thought to bring the storms of late summer and autumn, and was feared as a destroyer of crops. So, it is interesting that our winds in the Bible bring judgments of famine and pestilence, and the wind gods of the Greeks and Romans also brought crop conditions.
Horse imagery in weather
This next article about the horse latitudes bringing little to no rain when they travel north or south makes sense of some modern maritime terminology.
The horse latitudes are associated with the subtropical anticyclone. The belt in the Northern Hemisphere is sometimes called the “calms of Cancer” and that in the Southern Hemisphere the “calms of Capricorn”.
The consistently warm, dry, and sunny conditions of the horse latitudes are the main cause for the existence of the world’s major non-polar deserts, such as the Sahara Desert in Africa, the Arabian and Syrian deserts in the Middle East, the Mojave and Sonoran deserts in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, all in the Northern Hemisphere; and the Atacama Desert, the Kalahari Desert, and the Australian Desert in the Southern Hemisphere.
You see a connection with horses, winds and crop conditions.
Fun fact: a ship was said to be ‘horsed‘ when, although there was insufficient wind for sail, the vessel could make good progress by latching on to a strong current.
Horses, false gods, weather, fortune
Tibetan prayer flags are traditionally hung in high places to catch the wind so the prayer will be carried out to bless and bring good fortune to all sentient beings. Translated to English, the words on Wind Horse prayer flags say:
“May the rain fall at the proper time.
May the crops and livestock be bountiful.
May there be freedom from illness, famine, and war.
May all beings be well and happy.”
The wind horse is a symbol of the human soul in the shamanistic tradition of East Asia and Central Asia. In Tibetan Buddhism, it was included as the pivotal element in the center of the four animals symbolizing the cardinal directions and a symbol of the idea of well-being or good fortune. It has also given the name to a type of prayer flag that has the five animals printed on it. Again, associating the wind, the horse and the spirit and fortune.
You can do your own research on the connection between horses, storms and spirits. It is truly creepifying. It is my conclusion that there are angels responsible for causing the winds to blow, control the storms, and blow in pestilence or other calamities or much needed rain so that men will turn to the Most High. These spirits resemble horses in some way, perhaps in their mannerisms or when they manifest themselves physically or in visions to men. At God’s command they open the seals of the book in Revelation and the ingathering of the church at the rapture.
Just as God set the celestial bodies in motion, He created the angels that they represent and the people of the world whether they acknowledge Him as supreme or not, still acknowledge the existence of the stars, He also created the winds and the angels that they represent and the people of the world recognize that on those winds are brought blessings or severities. They recognize the horse-likeness as well, perhaps from tales passed down from the events of Gen 6:4, where I suspect most supernatural tales originated. Perhaps part of the reason nations fly their flags which display the signet of the one they serve also wish to observe the winds that come because of that lord and their actions. One thing is certain, if we want to be the recipient of blessings from the four winds that they will bring us life and carry us to the Most High, we will abide in His pastures and raise up His flag so that the world will see whom we love.
Psalm 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
Song of Solomon 2:4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.