10535. 'And the people heard this bad news, and mourned' means their grief because they do not occupy a position above others. This is clear from the meaning of 'hearing this bad news and mourning' as grief. The fact that it is grief because they do not occupy a position above others is evident from what has been shown previously regarding that nation. That is to say, it has been shown that they insisted on the Church's being established among themselves. But they insisted on this with no other end in view than that they might occupy a position above all nations throughout the entire world; for they were ruled by self-love more than others were, and could not be raised to a position above those nations unless Jehovah, and therefore also the Church, was with them; for where Jehovah - that is, the Lord - is, so is the Church. That such was their end in view is clear from a large number of places in the Word, and also from the following verse in the present chapter,
Moses said, How will it ever be made known that I have found grace in Your eyes, I and Your people? Will it not be in Your going with us? And I and Your people will be made more distinguished than all the people who are on the face of the earth. Exod 33:16.
It was not because they were chosen, rather because they were allowed to have the Church established among them; yet the Church did not reside within the actual nation, only that which was representative of the Church did so, see in the places referred to in 10396(end).