243. 3. The Israelitish nation worshipped a golden calf in the desert, and acknowledged it as the god which led them out of the land of Egypt. Yet Jehovah saw this from Mount Sinai nearby and did not seek to prevent it. This took place in the wilderness of Sinai near the mountain. That Jehovah did not withhold them from that wicked act of idolatry is in accordance with all the laws of the Divine Providence hitherto set forth, and also in accordance with those which follow. This evil was permitted them that they might not all perish. For the Children of Israel were led out of Egypt that they might represent the Lord's Church; and this they could not have done unless Egyptian idolatry had first been rooted out of their hearts. This could not have been done unless it had been left to them to act according to what was in their hearts and so remove it as the result of severe punishment. What further is signified by that worship, and by the threat that they should be wholly rejected and that a new nation should be raised up out of Moses, may be seen in the ARCANA CAELESTIA on Exodus xxii (A.V. xxxii), where these things are treated of.