The literary techniques of
synechdoche-metonomy, universal to all languages,
states that items can be named by related items, by parts of those items, or by good
examples of those items. For example honey refers to anything sweet
since honey is a good example of something sweet. Similarly hot refers to matters of love since the two are related. Today's Rashi can best
be understood by applying these principles.
before, after, right
particular relative locations.
However metonomy/synechdoche allows this word to refer to
the good example of relative positions when
you face the sun; 1) When you face the sun,
it is before you in the east;
2) When you face the sun, your back faces
the west; 3) When you face the sun the
south is on your right.
The following verse, with referents to relative positions
illustrates this usage.
the confrontation between God and man in paradise
after man sinned,
So He drove out the man;
and He placed at the east
[literally, before] of the garden of Eden the cherubim, and the flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life.
As can be seen this verse(s) illustrates a metonomycal /synodechical use of
relative position, before
to refer to
geographic positions, east.