9265. And thou shalt not take a present. That this signifies an aversion for any self-advantage whatever, is evident from the signification of "a present," as being everything worldly that is loved, whether it be wealth, dignity, reputation, or anything else which flatters the natural man, which things, speaking generally, are called "self-advantage," and in the internal sense are meant by "a present" which "blinds" and "perverts;" and from the signification of "not to take," as being to be held in aversion, for unless this is the case they are still looked for and taken. But they are held in aversion when what is heavenly and Divine is loved more than what is worldly and earthly; for so far as the one is loved, so far the other is hated, according to the Lord's words in Luke:
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Luke 16:13);
"to hate" denotes to hold in aversion, for aversion is of hatred, and hatred is opposite to love; wherefore it is said "or he will love the other." From all this it is evident that by "thou shalt not take a present" is signified an aversion for any self-advantage whatever.