10396. 'And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain' means the Israelite nation, when they did not discern in the Word anything from heaven. This is clear from the meaning of 'seeing', when it refers to the understanding of the Word, as discernment, dealt with in 2150, 3764, 3863, 4567, 4723, 5400; from the representation of 'Moses' as the Word, dealt with in the places referred to in 9372; from the meaning of 'delaying to come down', when this refers to discernment of Divine Truth obtained from the Word, as not flowing in, for Divine Truth which flows in and resides with a person is said to come down from heaven; and from the meaning of 'Mount Sinai' as heaven in respect of Divine Truth, dealt with in 9420. 'The people' is used here literally to mean the Israelite nation; for this chapter deals with that nation, with what it was like in its discernment of Divine Truth obtained from the Word, and in its discernment of the inner realities that were represented within the things which Jehovah commanded the children of Israel from Mount Sinai through Moses - the things contained in the previous chapters, 25-31 inclusive. From all this it is clear that 'the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain' means the Israelite nation, when they did not discern in the Word anything from heaven, nor for this reason anything that was represented in the measures commanded from Mount Sinai, that is, the inner realities.
 The situation in all this is that the subject in the chapters immediately before has been the statutes, judgements, and laws which Jehovah commanded the children of Israel, among whom a Church was to be established. Each one of these was an external regulation representing something internal, as has been shown in the explanations of those chapters. But the character of the Israelite nation was such that they did not wish to know anything whatever about the inner realities that were represented, only about the outward forms that served to represent them. The reason why that nation was like this was that they were ruled completely by bodily and earthly kinds of love; and with those who are ruled by those kinds of love their interiors, which would otherwise lie open to heaven, are closed off. Everyone has an internal and an external; the internal exists for heaven's purposes, and the external for the world's purposes. When the external is dominant, worldly, bodily, and earthly interests reign; but when the internal is dominant, heavenly ones do so. The human being has been created in such a way however that the external may be subordinate to the internal, thus the world within him may be subordinate to heaven; for as has been stated, the external exists for the world's purposes, and the internal for heaven's. When therefore the external is dominant the internal is closed, because then a person turns himself away from heaven and the Lord towards the world and self; and the place he turns to is where his heart is, consequently where his love is and together with that love the whole of his life, since a person's life consists in his love.
 These things have been mentioned in order that people may know what the situation is with those who are ruled by bodily and earthly kinds of love, namely that such people's interiors are closed off; and those whose interiors are closed off do not acknowledge anything internal. Only those things which they see with their eyes or touch with their hands they say exist, and all else which they do not see with their eyes or touch with their hands they say do not exist. Consequently they have no belief at all in the existence of heaven, in life after death, or in the inner realities taught by the Church. This was what the Israelite nation was like; and the present chapter shows that they were such.
 Anyone who does not know that inner realities compose the Church with a person, and not outward things without them, cannot do other than suppose that this nation was chosen and also loved by Jehovah in preference to all others. But the truth of the matter is entirely different. They were accepted because they insisted on it, yet not in order that any Church might exist among them, only what was representative of a Church, to the end that the Word could be written, with such things constituting its lowest level. The reason why in the Word that nation is called Jehovah's people, the nation chosen and loved [by Him], is that in it Judah is used to mean the celestial Church, Israel the spiritual Church, and each son of Jacob some aspect of the Church. Furthermore Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob serve to mean the Lord Himself, and so do Moses, Aaron, and David. But since the subject in the whole of this chapter is that nation, and the fact that no Church could be established among them, only what was representative of a Church, please see, before anything further is presented, what has been stated and shown previously regarding that nation,
No Church existed with that nation, only what was representative of a Church, 4281, 4288, 4311, 4500, 4899, 4912, 6304, 7048, 9320. Thus they were not chosen, only accepted because they insisted on it, 4290, 4293, 7051, 7439. They were entirely restricted to external things devoid of anything internal, 4293, 4311, 4459(end), 4834, 4844, 4847, 4865, 4868, 4874, 4903, 4913, 9320, 9373, 9380, 9381. Their worship was merely external, 3147, 3479, 8871. Nor did they wish to know about the inner things of worship and of the Word, 3479, 4429, 4433, 4680. Therefore they were not allowed to know those things, 301, 302, 304, 2520, 3769. If they had known them they would have rendered them profane, 3398, 3489, 4289. Nevertheless through the outward things of worship among them, which were representative of inner realities, there was contact with heaven, and in what way, 4311, 4444, 6304, 8588, 8788, 8806. When they were engaged in worship their interiors, which were foul, were closed, 3480, 9962. This was possible among that nation, which is why they have been preserved even to the present day, 3479, 4281, 6588, 9377. They worshipped Jehovah, but no more than His name, 3732(end), 4299, 6877. At heart they were idolaters, 4208, 4281, 4820, 5998, 6877, 7401, 8301, 8882. In general, they were the worst nation, 4314, 4316, 4317, 4444, 4503, 4750, 4751, 4815, 4820, 4832, 5057, 7248, 8819, 9320.