The east wind carrieth him away
Which is very strong and powerful, and carries all before it; afflictions are sometimes compared to it, ( Isaiah 27:8 ) ; and here either death, accompanied with the wrath of God, which carries the wicked man, sore against his will, out of the world, from his house, his family, his friends, his possessions, and estates, and carries him to hell to be a companion with devils, and share with them in all the miseries of that dreadful state and place. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "a burning wind", such as are frequent in the eastern countries, which carry a man off at once, so that he has only time at most to say, I burn, and immediately drops down dead, as Thevenot, and other travellers, relate; which is thus described;
``it is a wind called "Samiel", or poison wind, a very hot one, that reigns in summer from Mosul to Surrat, but only by land, not upon the water; they who have breathed that wind fall instantly dead upon the place, though sometimes they have time to say that they burn within. No sooner does a man die by this wind but he becomes as black as a coal; and if one take him by his leg, arm, or any other place, his flesh comes from the same, and is plucked off by the hand that would lift him up F14:''and again, it is observed, that in Persia, if a man, in June or July, breathes in certain hot south winds that come from the sea, he falls down dead, and at most has no more time than to say he burns F15. Wicked men are like chaff and stubble, and they can no more resist death than either of these can resist the east wind; and they are as easily burnt up and consumed with the burning wind of God's wrath as they are by devouring flames; and though wicked men and hypocrites may think all will be well with them if they have but time to say, Lord have mercy on us; they may be carried off with such a burning wind, or scorching disease, as to be able only to say, that they burn, and not in their bodies only, but in their souls also, feeling the wrath of God in their consciences: or this may have respect to the devouring flames of hell they are surrounded with upon dying, or immediately after death, see ( Isaiah 33:14 ) ;
and he departeth;
out of the world, not willingly, but, whether he will or not, he must depart; or rather he will be bid to depart, and he will depart from the bar of God, from his presence, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
an as a storm hurleth him out of his place:
this is done either at death, when as a storm hurls a tree, or any other thing, out of its place, so is the sinner forced out of his place in a tempestuous manner, through the power and wrath of God, so that his place knows him no more; and he is hurried into hell and everlasting destruction, just as the sinning angels were hurled out of heaven, and cast down into hell, and there will be no place found in heaven for them any more; or rather this will be his case at judgment, which immediately follows, where the wicked shall not stand, or be able to justify themselves, and make their case good; but with the storm of divine wrath and vengeance shall be hurled from thence, and go, being driven, into everlasting punishment.
F14 Thevenot's Travels into the Levant, par. 2. B. 1. ch. 12. p. 54.
F15 Thevenot's Travels into the Levant, par. 2. B. 3. ch. 5. p. 135.