4670. A son of seventeen years. That this signifies its state, is evident from the years of the ages of those mentioned in the Word, in that like other numbers they signify things and states. (That all numbers in the Word signify things and states may be seen above, n. 575, 647, 648, 1988, 2075, 2252, 3252, 4264, 4495; as also years, n. 487, 488, 493, 893.)
 It indeed appears as if numbers of years, or years of ages, had no further meaning, because they seem to be more historical than other numbers. But that these also involve things and states is evident from what was unfolded in the fifth chapter of Genesis, and said as to the age of Abraham (Gen. 17:1; 25:7), and that of Isaac (Gen. 35:28); and moreover from the fact that there is no historical statement in the Word which does not involve what is heavenly; into which also it is changed when it passes from the thought of the man who is reading, to the angels with him, and through the angels to heaven, where from every historical of the Word a spiritual sense is produced.
 But what is signified by Joseph's age of seventeen years may be seen from the signification of this number in other places, namely, a beginning, but here the beginning of the representation by Joseph. (That this number signifies a beginning and what is new, may be seen above, n. 755, 853.) Moreover in a general and potential way this number involves all that is represented by Joseph; for "seven" signifies holy, and "ten," remains. (That "seven" in the Word adds holiness may be seen above, n. 881; and that "ten" denotes remains, n. 576, 1906, 2284.) That the remains in the Lord by means of which He united the Human essence to the Divine, were Divine and of Himself, may be seen above (n. 1906).