1825. That "three years old" involves all things of the church as to times and states, is evident from the signification of "three" in the Word. By "three" is signified the full time of the church, from its origin even to its end, and thus all its state. The last time of the church is therefore signified by the third day, the third week, the third month, the third year and the third age, which are all the same. As the state of the church is signified by the number three, so also is the state of everyone who is a church, and everything which is of the church, as may be seen from the signification of this number in the passages adduced from the Word (n. 720, 901).
 That "a heifer of three years" thus signifies the time or state of the church even to the last, that is, when it has been vastated or made desolate, may also be seen in Isaiah:
My heart crieth out upon Moab; her fugitives are unto Zoar, a heifer of three years old; for by the ascent of Luhith, with weeping he shall go up in it; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of breaking to pieces (Isa. 15:5).
Also in Jeremiah:
Gladness and exultation are gathered from Carmel, and from the land of Moab; and I will make* wine to cease from the winepresses; none shall tread with shouting; the shouting shall be no shouting. From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, even unto Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto** Horonaim, a heifer of three years old; for the waters of Nimrim also shall become desolations (Jer. 48:33-34).
No one could possibly perceive what these things mean unless he knew what is signified by "Moab," by "Zoar," "the ascent of Luhith," "the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh," by "Jahaz," by "Horonaim," "the waters of Nimrim," and by "a heifer three years old." That this is an uttermost vastation is plain.
* Cessare faciam; but elsewhere feci, as Apocalypse Explained 376. [Rotch ed.]
** Latin here has a, doubtless a misprint for ad, as in n. 9391. [Ibid.]