4262. And he took of that which came into his hand a present for Esau his brother. That this signifies things Divine to be initiated into celestial natural good, is evident from the signification of "taking of that which came into his hand," as being from those things which befell from forethought, and thus those which were from Divine Providence; and as those things which are of the Divine Providence are Divine, by "taking of that which came into his hand" are here signified things Divine;-from the signification of a "present," as being initiation (of which in what follows); and from the representation of Esau, as being the Divine natural as to good (see n. 3302, 3322, 3504, 3599), here as to celestial good, because the natural was not yet made Divine.
 That a "present" signifies initiation, is because it was given to gain good will and favor; for in old time the presents which were given and offered had various significations; those which were given on approaching kings and priests signified one thing, and those which were offered upon the altar, another; the former signified initiation, but the latter, worship (n. 349). For all sacrifices in general, of whatever kind, were called "presents;" but the meat offerings which were bread and wine, or cakes with a libation, were specifically so called; for in the original language "meat offering" signifies a "present."
 That they gave presents to kings and priests on approaching them, is evident from many passages in the Word, as when Saul consulted Samuel (1 Sam. 9:7-8); when they who despised Saul did not offer him a present (1 Sam. 10:27); when the queen of Sheba came to Solomon (1 Kings 10:2); and also all the others of whom it is said:
All the earth sought the faces of Solomon, to hear his wisdom; and they offered every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and arms, and spices, horses, and mules (1 Kings 10:24-25).
And as this was a holy ritual, signifying initiation, the wise men from the east also, who came to Jesus just after His birth, brought presents-gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11); "gold" signified celestial love; "frankincense," spiritual love; and "myrrh," these loves in the natural.
 That this ritual was commanded, is evident in Moses:
The faces of Jehovah shall not be seen empty (Exod. 23:15; Deut. 16:16-17);
and that the presents given to priests and kings were as if given to Jehovah, is evident from other places in the Word. That presents which were sent signified initiation, is manifest from the presents which the twelve princes of Israel sent to initiate the altar, after it was anointed (Num. 7); where their presents are called "the initiation" (Num. 7:88).