10397. And the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron. That this signifies that they turned themselves to the externals of the Word, of the church, and of worship, separate from what is internal, is evident from the signification of "gathering themselves together," as being to turn themselves; and from the representation of Aaron, as here being the external of the Word, of the church, and of worship, separate from the internal. This is here represented by Aaron, because during the absence of Moses, he was the head of that nation, and by Moses, who was absent, is represented the Word (from which the church and worship are derived) in both the internal and the external sense (see the places cited in n. 9372). That such is the representation of Aaron is plain also from each and all things related of Aaron in what follows; namely, that it was he who made the calf and proclaimed a feast and made the people lax, all of which coincides with the external of the Word, of the church, and of worship, separate from the internal. He who separates the internal of the Word, of the church, and of worship from the external, separates from it the holy Divine. For the internal of these is their spirit; but the external is the body of this spirit, and the body without the spirit is dead; and accordingly to worship what is dead is to worship an idol, in this case to worship the golden calf and to proclaim a feast to it, and so to make the people lax. From all this it can be seen what is signified by "Aaron" in this chapter. What the internal of the Word, of the church, and of worship is, and what their external, has been shown in what goes before.