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That the number seventeen signifies the beginning of temptation, is evident in Jeremiah, when that prophet was commanded to buy a field from Hanamel his uncle's son, which was in Anathoth; and he weighed him the money, seventeen shekels of silver (Jeremiah 32:9). That this number also signifies the Babylonish captivity, which represents the temptation of the faithful and the devastation of the unfaithful, and so the beginning of temptation and at the same time the end of temptation, or liberation, is evident from what follows in the same chapter,-the captivity in (Jeremiah 32:36), and the liberation in (Jeremiah 32:37) and following verses. No such number would have appeared in the prophecy if it had not, like all the other words, involved a hidden meaning.

[4] That seventeen signifies the beginning of temptation, is also evident from the age of Joseph, who was a son of seventeen years when he was sent to his brothers and sold into Egypt (Gen. 37:2). His being sold into Egypt has a similar signification.

from AC 755

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Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). Design:  I.J. Thompson, Feb 2002. www.BibleMeanings.info