[ The Number 17 ]

The Number “17”

(The Number of The Son of Man / Overcoming the Enemy / Complete Victory)

Symbolism and Meaning

  • In the Bible, the number 17 symbolizes “overcoming the enemy & complete victory.” 
  • According to Abellio, the number 17 is the number of the Son of Man.
  • According to R. Allendy, 17 represent the action of the evolution on the Cosmos and its tendency to the karmic liberation, 1 + 7 = 8.
  • According to Prevost, 17 is the Symbol of a man participating in both worlds, celestial and terrestrial. Henry Blanquart also states that 17 “represents the junction between the material world and the spiritual world”.
  • About this number, saint Augustin declares: “In the number seventeen as in its multiples we find an admirable sacrament”.
  • Seventeen restores the harmony after the fights of the existence. It is the image of the initiate who has succeeded his interior marriage.
  • According to Guy Tarade, it is the number of the Holy Spirit.
  • According to the Book of the Balance of Jâbir Ibn Hayyân, alchemist and Sufi, the form (sura) of anything in the world is 17; the number 17 represents the base of the theory of the Balance and has to be considered as the rule of the balance of each thing.
  • For Italians, the number 17 is the same as the number 13 in Occident. Thus, in Italy, there is no bedroom 17, no 17th floor, etc., this because of the number 17 that in Roman number is written XVII, considered as the anagram and the numerical value of the Latin expression VIXI that means “I lived” therefore by extension “I am dead”.
  • Jâbir Ibn Hayyân, in his book “Book of the Seventy” (Kitâb al-sab’în), attaches very great importance to the numerical series: 1, 3, 5, 8 and 28 (the sum of 1, 3, 5 and 8 giving 17), because according to him: “All, in the universe, is governed by the number 17 – the metals, for example, have 17 ‘power'” and the form of anything in the world is 17.
  • According to visions of Anne-Catherine Emmerich, seventeen women follow the Way of the Cross. And in the visions of the brother Joseph-Francis, the Cross measured 17 feet.
  • According to Leon Kass, 17 has some significant meaning (as yet not known exactly) in the book of Genesis.


  • Jesus traveled seventeen years for his preparation before his public ministry.
  • Jesus Christ gained a complete victory over death when God resurrected him near sunset on Nisan 17 (Saturday, April 8, 30 A.D.).
  • Seventeen nations are present at the Pentecost: Galilee, Parthians, Medes and Elamites, peoples from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya round to Cyrene, residents of Rome, Jews and proselytes alike, Cretans and Arabs. (Ac 2,7-11)
  • God began to flood the earth through rain on the 17th of the second Hebrew month.
  • Noah’s ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat (altitude of 17000 feet) on the 17th of the seventh month (exactly midway through the Holy period known as the Feast of Tabernacles).
  • In the book of 1Corinthians the thirteenth chapter, the seventeenth mention of the word ‘love’ comes when the apostle Paul states that it is the greatest gift of all (1Corinthians 13:13).
  • Psalm 83, verses 6 to 11, lists seventeen total enemies of Israel.
  • The seven enemies of Israel God destroyed in the past are the Midianites, Sisera, Jabin, Oreb, Zeeb, Zebah, and Zalmunna. The future confederation prophesied to be against God’s chosen are Edom, Ishmaelites, Moab, Hagarenes, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistines, Tyre, and Assyria. This makes for a total of 17 foes vanquished by the Eternal!
  • The apostle James wrote his Epistle seventeen years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
  • Daniel 7’s beasts have seven heads and ten horns, for a total number of 17.
  • Joseph was seventeen years of age-old when he was sold by his brothers and escorted to Egypt. (Gn 37,2)
  • Seventeen Judges between the death of Josiah and the birth of Samuel: Othonial, Aod, Samgar, Jahel, Deborah, Barac, Gideon, Abimelech, Thola, Jair, Japheth, Abezan, Ahialon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel.
  • Rehoboam, son of Solomon, and the first king of Judah reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem. (1 K 14,21)
  • Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, reigned seventeen years in Israel to Samaria. (2 K 13,1)
  • The Ten Commandments of God were given in 17 verses to the twentieth chapter of the book of the Exodus.
  • Jacob lived for seventeen years in the country of Egypt. (Gn 47,28)
  • The Pentateuch contains 5852 or 17x7x7x7+7+7+7 verses. 1533 verses of Genesis can be also expressed like 17×70+7x7x7 or 17×7+707+707. The book of the Exodus contains (17+17)x(17+17)+57 or 1213 verses. It is 17×7 shorter than 666+666.
  • The 17th book of the NRSV is the shortest.
  • One of the longest names found in the word of God, containing 17 letters, is Chushanrishathaim (Judges 3:8)
  • In Romans 8:35 the apostle Paul asks “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” He then asks if the following seven things could separate us, which are tribulation, persecution, distress, nakedness, famine, the sword, or any other danger. Paul then tells us ten things that cannot get between our God and us, which are life, death, principalities, powers, angels, things present or to come, depth, height, or anything created. Thus we have 7 + 10 = 17, representing a Christian’s perfect and eternal standing with God through Christ.


  • 17 occurs 10 times in the KJV Bible.
  • (1) Genesis 37:2 [9]
    (1) Genesis 47:28 [9]
    (1) Judges 8:14 [31]
    (1) 1 Kings 14:21 [25]
    (1) 2 Kings 13:1 [30]
    (1) 1 Chronicles 7:11 [18]
    (1) 2 Chronicles 12:13 [26]
    (1) Ezra 2:39 [8]
    (1) Nehemiah 7:42 [8]
    (1) Jeremiah 32:9 [21]
  • In the Revelation of John, 7 is used 53 times and designates 17 different elements: 7 Churches of Asia, 7 spirits, 7 candelabras, 7 seals, etc.
  • In the Bible, 17 numbers are multiples of 17. The fourteen epistles of Saint Paul in the Bible use on the whole 17 different numbers written in their cardinal form and the sum of their occurrences gives 81.

Other Religions

  • The prayer of the Rosary of the Virgin Mary is composed of 17 Pater and 153 Ave Maria. And the sum of the 17 first numbers gives 153.
  • The Jewish law counts seventeen blessings.
  • According to a passage of the Talmud, it is written that the complete Torah included initially 17 books initially.
  • The revelations received by Mary Jane of United States enumerate on the whole seventeen joys that known the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose greater was to be placed on the Throne of God. No one other never has been able to acquire this honor.
  • The seventeen liturgical gestures, rak’a, in the Islamic tradition which compose the five daily prayers. Seventeen words compose also the call to the prayer.
  • The death of Osiris would have occurred on the 17th day of the month of Athyr according to Egyptian mythology.
  • Raoul Auclair notices that one of the appearances of the Virgin Mary expresses the number 17. It was on January 17, 1871 (1+8+7+1=17) at 17 hours, in the village of Pontmain, having 17 hamlets. This appearance, proceeding in 17 phases, occurred 17 years after the date of the blooming of the Mystery of Mary: the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. She appeared ahead 70 people, pronouncing no word, but wrote her message in gold letters on the sky of the night. This message comprised 70 signs.
  • Some people believed that the Sky was divided into 17 celestial layers.
  • The mummy of king Toutankammon was wrapped of 17 cloths
  • In the Yasna of Zoroastrianism, seventeen chapters were written by Zoroaster himself. These are the Gathas.
  • The number of the raka’ahs that Muslims perform during Salat on a daily basis.
  • The number of surat al-Isra in the Qur’an.


  • Described at MIT as ‘the least random number’, according to the Jargon File. A study was conducted wherein respondents were asked to choose a random number from 1 to 20, 17 was the most common choice. This study has been repeated a number of times.
  • The number of guns in a 17-gun salute to U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps Generals, and Navy and Coast Guard admirals.
  • The number of flames emanating from the grenade cap-badge of the Grenadier Guards.
  • During World War II, the four-engined heavy bomber as flown by the USAAF and other Allies and known as “The Flying Fortress”, was also known as the B-17
  • The maximum number of strokes of a Chinese radical
  • The number of syllables in a haiku (5 + 7 + 5)
  • In the Nordic countries, the seventeenth day of the year is considered the heart and/or the back of winter
  • “Highway 17” or “Route 17”: See List of highways numbered 17 and List of public transport routes numbered 17
  • Seventeen, also known as Lock Seventeen, an unincorporated place in Clay Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio
  • Seventeen was the former name of a yacht prior to being commissioned in the US Navy as the USS Carnelian (PY-19)
No row 17 in Alitalia planes
  • In Italian culture, the number 17 is considered unlucky. When viewed as the Roman numeral, XVII, it is then changed anagrammatically to VIXI, which in the Latin language translates to “I lived”, the perfect implying “My life is over.” (c.f. “Vixerunt“, Cicero’s famous announcement of an execution.) Renault sold its “R17” model in Italy as “R177.” See Cesana Pariol in the sports section about the name of curve 17.
  • The fear of the number 17 is called ‘heptadecaphobia’ or ‘heptakaidekaphobia’
  • Some species of cicadas have a life cycle of 17 years (i.e. they are buried in the ground for 17 years between every mating season)
  • The number of special significance to Yellow Pig’s Day and Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics
  • The number to call the police in France
  • Force 17, a special operations unit of the Palestinian Fatah movement
  • The number of the French department Charente-Maritime
  • The declared percentage alcohol content (by volume) of Baileys Irish Cream – an Irish whiskey and cream-based liqueur, made by Gilbeys of Ireland
  • The flight number of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which was shot down on 17 July 2014
  • The record number of concerts performed in a single year at Madison Square Garden by the band Phish in 2017
  • The number of deaths and injured people on February 14, 2018, shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
  • The number called “antiphraxis” (interposition) by the Greeks because it is located between the numbers sixteen (square number) and eighteen (double square).
  • The attack missed against John-Paul II, which occurred at an anniversary date of the appearances of Fatima, would have produced at 17 hours 17.
  • The Parthenon makes 17 columns in length.
  • Formerly the Chinese had a bureaucratic constitution of 17 articles.
  • The Alhambra, splendid Moor palace which inspired Escher, has 17 types of mosaic (in fact all possible types).
  • Henry IV celebrated his marriage a second time on December 17, 1600, in the cathedral St. John in Lyon. His wife Mary Medicis arrived with approximately 5000 Italians in 17 galleys.
  • The first woman of Henry VIII had 17 children who died before to have 1 year.
  • Shakespeare wrote 17 comedies (at the 17th century).
  • Hamlet reigned for 17 years.
  • The Great Lodge of England which made the speculative Masonry was founded in 1717.
  • The French revolution occurred in 1789 (8+9 = 17).
  • The number 17 has particular importance in the tradition of trade corporations that recognize 17 companions initiated by Ali, 17 owners of Muslim corporation founders initiated by Selman-i Farsi, and 17 major corporations.
  • At the Quatrain 5,92 of Nostradamus, it is written: “After the seat held seventeen years”.
  • Beethoven wrote 17 quartets. The first of Water Music of Haendel occurred on July 17, 1717 (the day of the yellow pigs!). It is in 1717 that Domenico Zipoli embarked for America (he arrived there in July). Gossec wrote a symphony to 17 parts. Titchenko wrote a concerto for violoncello and 17 wind instruments. Senfl wrote a mass in 17 parts (given to the Festival of Ambronay on October 2, 1994). Op. 54 of Mendelssohn: 17 variations for piano. Bach had an orchestra of 17 musicians during the period of Weimar when he wrote the concerto for 2 violins BWV 1043 (France-Music, Bach and Europe, December 10, 1995). In 1895, St. Saens published 17 volumes of the work of Branch (Radio Classic, December 13, 1995, 15h30).
  • There is a famous passage in Theaetetus of Plato in which it is written that Theodorus (the professor of Plato) proved the irrationality of sqrt(3), sqrt(5), …, taking all the cases until the square root of 17, where he stopped. But we don’t know the exact meaning of the Greek word (mu)(epsilon)(chi)(rho)(iota), translated by “until” by Heath: either “until… excluding”, or “until… included”. (An Introduction to the Theory of Numbers, Hardy/Wright, section 4.5, p 42-44).
  • In Muslim folklore, the symbolic number 17 appears especially in the legends, in particular in the 17 advices murmured to the ear of the king during his coronation and in the 17 components of the banner (Mr. Mokri, The secrets of Hamza).
  • It is especially in Shiism (and, by its influence, in the religious literature of Turks of Anatolia) that quasi magic importance is attached to the number 17… The mystic Shiists had, from an ancient period, a veneration for the number 17; this veneration originates from the old Pythagorean speculations based on the letters of the Greek alphabet… 17 represented the number of those who will be resuscitated, each of these persons having to receive one of the 17 letters of the alphabet, whose is composed the supreme name of God, which is in relation with the Arcane 17 of the Tarot.
  • In Lebanon, there are officially 17 religions: 5 Islamic groups, 11 Christian groups (4 Orthodox, 6 Catholics, 1 Protestant), and 1 Judaic.
  • For the ancient Greeks, 17 represents the number of consonants of the alphabet; it is divided in 9 (number of the dumb consonants) and in 8 (number of the semivowels or semi-consonants). These numbers were also in relation to the musical theory and the harmony of the spheres.
  • Pluto is the only planet outside of the ecliptic plan; its orbit is inclined of 17. The last mission on the Moon was Apollo 17, in 1972 (17×116). The period of the revolution of Callisto, discovery to the 17th century by Galileo, around Jupiter is 17 days.
  • According to some documents of NASA, it would be necessary to cover more than 17 times the distance Earth-Moon to reduce the gravitational attraction of the Earth to a millionth of that to the surface of the Earth.
  • The age of the universe is about 10^17 seconds.
  • There are 17 muscles in the tongue.
  • The symbol indicating the constant which would be the most famous in mathematics is the 17th letter of the original Greek alphabet, pi. The original alphabet comprised three letters that are now obsolete, one was digamma, the sixth letter.
  • The selenium element [Se], of atomic number 34 (17×2) was discovered by Jons Berzelius in 1817 (1+8+1+7 = 17).
  • The Japanese poetry Haiku contains 17 syllables.
  • The scale of Holder is composed of 17 notes.
  • The first atomic bomb, prepared by 1700 persons, was released on Hiroshima with 17 seconds of delay (newspaper of France 2 August 6, 1995, at 20 hours).
  • Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, at 17h17.
  • November 17, 1972 (1972 = 17×116): return of Peron General in Argentina, after 17 years of exile.
  • It was parallel 17 which divided the North and the South of Vietnam.
  • Two of the most important earthquakes in 1994 and 1995 occurred on January 17: January 17, 1994, in California (Los Angeles), and January 17, 1995, in Japan (Kobe). In both cases, the latitude was 34° (=2 x17), and the longitudes were respectively -118° and 135° (- 118 + 135 = 17).
  • In India, they speak 17 languages.
  • In the Great Pyramid, on the walls of one of the bedrooms of “dump” is written several marks of hieroglyphs, with the red paint. One of these marks has been translated as “year 17”, and it was concluded, perhaps a little too quickly, that the Pyramid had reached this level the 17th year of the reign of the Pharaoh.
  • Seventeen days separate the feast of the Presentation of Mary, November 21, of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8.
  • The mass of Neptune is 17 times that of the Earth.
  • The girls having 17 years old, have on average 17 square meters of skin.
  • The 17 is the smallest number (integer) whose writing in French constitutes a compound word: “Dix-sept”.
  • The White House is located on 17th street in Washington.
  • In the Odyssey of Homer, Ulysses spent 17 days to reach the Pheacia.
  • Eighth prime number, by theosophical reduction, 17 gives also 8: 1 + 7 = 8.
  • Anniversary of marriage: weddings of jewelry.

In Math

  • Seventeen is the seventh prime number. The next prime is nineteen, with which it forms a twin prime.
  • Seventeen is a permutable prime and a supersingular prime.
  • Seventeen is the third Fermat prime, as it is of the form 22n + 1, specifically with n = 2. Since 17 is a Fermat prime, regular heptadecagons can be constructed with a compass and unmarked ruler. This was proven by Carl Friedrich Gauss and ultimately led him to choose mathematics over philology for his studies.
  • There are exactly 17 two-dimensional space (plane symmetry) groups. These are sometimes called wallpaper groups, as they represent the seventeen possible symmetry types that can be used for wallpaper.
  • Like 41, the number 17 is a prime that yields primes in the polynomial n2 + n + p, for all positive n < p − 1.
  • Either 16 or 18 unit squares can be formed into rectangles with a perimeter equal to the area, and there are no other natural numbers with this property. The Platonists regarded this as a sign of their peculiar propriety; and Plutarch notes it when writing that the Pythagoreans “utterly abominate” 17, which “bars them off from each other and disjoins them”.
  • Seventeen is the minimum possible number of givens for a sudoku puzzle with a unique solution. This was long conjectured and was proved in 2012-14.
  • There are 17 orthogonal curvilinear coordinate systems (to within a conformal symmetry) in which the three-variable Laplace equation can be solved using the separation of variables technique.
  • Seventeen is the sixth Mersenne prime exponent, yielding 131071.
  • Seventeen is the first number that can be written as the sum of a positive cube and a positive square in two different ways; that is, the smallest n such that x3 + y2 = n has two different solutions for x and y positive integers ((1,4) or (2,3)). The next such number is 65.
  • Seventeen is the minimum number of vertices on a graph such that, if the edges are colored with three different colors, there is bound to be a monochromatic triangle. (See Ramsey’s theorem.)
  • Seventeen is the only prime number which is the sum of four consecutive primes (2,3,5,7). Any other four consecutive primes summed would always produce an even number, thereby divisible by 2 and so not prime.
  • The sequence of residues (mod n) of a googol and googolplex, for n = 1, 2, 3, …, agree up until n = 17.

In Science

  • The atomic number of chlorine.
  • The Brodmann area defining the primary visual processing area of mammalian brains.
  • Group 17 of the periodic table is called the halogens.
  • The number of elementary particles in the Standard Model of physics.

Age 17

  • In most countries across the world, it is the last age at which one is considered a minor under law.
  • In the UK, the minimum age for taking driving lessons, and to drive a car or a van
  • In the US and Canada, it is the age at which one may purchase, rent, or reserve M-rated video games without parental consent
  • In some US states and jurisdictions around the world, 17 is the age of sexual consent
  • In most US states, Canada, and in the UK, the age at which one may donate blood (without parental consent)
  • In many countries and jurisdictions, the age at which one may obtain a driver’s license
  • In the US, the age at which one may watch, rent, or purchase R-rated movies without parental consent
  • The U.S. TV Parental Guidelines system sets 17 as the minimum age one can watch programs with a TV-MA rating without parental guidance.
  • In the US, the age at which one can enlist in the armed forces with parental consent
  • In the US, the age at which one can apply for a private pilot license for powered flight (however, applicants can obtain a student pilot certificate at age 16)
  • In Greece and Indonesia, the voting age
  • In Chile and Indonesia, the minimum driving age.


  • The title of Seventeen, a magazine
  • The title of Just Seventeen, a former magazine
  • The number 17 is a recurring theme in the works of novelist Steven Brust. All of his chaptered novels have either 17 chapters or two books of 17 chapters each. Multiples of 17 frequently appear in his novels set in the fantasy world of Dragaera, where the number is considered holy.
  • In The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the symbol for Discordianism includes a pyramid with 17 steps because 17 has “virtually no interesting geometric, arithmetic, or mystical qualities”. However, for the Illuminati, 17 is tied with the “23/17 phenomenon”.
  • In the Harry Potter universe
    • 17 is the coming of age for wizards. It is equivalent to the usual coming of age at 18
    • 17 is the number of Sickles in one Galleon in the British wizards’ currency



  • 17 Hippies, a German band
  • Sytten (17 in Norwegian), a Norwegian-American rapper
  • Seventeen (세븐틴), a South Korean boy band
  • Heaven 17, an English new wave band
  • East 17, an English boy band


  • 17 (XXXTentacion album)
  • 17 (Motel album)
  • 17 (Ricky Martin album)
  • Chicago 17, a 1984 album by Chicago
  • Seventeen Days, a 2005 album by 3 Doors Down
  • Seventeen Seconds, a 1980 album by The Cure
  • 17 Carat, a 2015 EP by Seventeen


  • “17” (Sky Ferreira song)
  • “17” (Yourcodenameis:Milo song)
  • “17 Again”, a song by Eurythmics
  • “17 år”, a song by Veronica Maggio
  • “17 Crimes”, a song by AFI
  • “17 Days”, a song by Prince
  • “17”, a song by Dan Bălan
  • “17”, a song by Jethro Tull
  • “17”, a song by Kings of Leon
  • “17”, a song by Milburn
  • “17”, a song by Rick James from Reflections
  • “17”, a B-side by Shiina Ringo on the “Tsumi to Batsu” single
  • “17”, a song by The Smashing Pumpkins from the album Adore
  • “17”, a song by Youth Lagoon from the album The Year of Hibernation
  • “17 Days”, a song by Prince & the Revolution, B side from the 1984 “When Doves Cry” single
  • “Seventeen” (Jet song)
  • “Seventeen” (Ladytron song)
  • “Seventeen” (Winger song)
  • “Seventeen”, a song by ¡Forward, Russia! from Give Me a Wall
  • “Seventeen”, a song by Jimmy Eat World from Static Prevails
  • “Seventeen”, a song by Marina & the Diamonds from the US edition of The Family Jewels
  • “Seventeen”, a song by Mat Kearney from the iTunes edition of Young Love
  • “Seventeen”, a song from the Repo! The Genetic Opera soundtrack
  • “Seventeen”, the original title of the song “I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles
  • “Seventeen”, a song by the Sex Pistols from Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
  • “Seventeen Forever”, a song by Metro Station
  • “At Seventeen”, a song by Janis Ian
  • “Edge of Seventeen”, a song by Stevie Nicks
  • “Seventeen Ain’t So Sweet”, a song by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus from Don’t You Fake It
  • “Only 17”, a song by Rucka Rucka Ali
  • “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me)”, a song by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
  • “(She’s) Sexy + 17”, a song by Stray Cats from Rant N’ Rave with the Stray Cats
  • “Hello, Seventeen”, a song by 12012
  • “Section 17 (Suitcase Calling)”, a song by The Polyphonic Spree
  • “Day Seventeen: Accident?”, a song by Ayreon
  • “Seventeen”, a song by Alessia Cara
  • “Seventeen”, a song performed by Marina and the Diamonds
  • “Seventeen” and “Seventeen (Reprise)”, songs in the musical Heathers
  • “Seventeen” and “Seventeen (Reprise)”, songs in the musical Tuck Everlasting


  • Seventeen (musical), a 1951 American musical
  • The ratio 18:17 was a popular approximation for the equal-tempered semitone during the Renaissance


  • Seventeen (1916), an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Booth Tarkington
  • Number 17 (1928), a British-German film
  • Number Seventeen (1932), directed by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Seventeen (1940), a second adaptation of the Tarkington novel
  • Number 17 (1949), a Swedish film
  • Stalag 17 (1953), directed by Billy Wilder
  • Try Seventeen (2002), directed by Jeffrey Porter
  • In 2004, Volatile Films released a feature-length film titled The Significance of Seventeen starring Cindy Taylor; one theme addressed by the film is the high incidence of the number 17 and its function as ‘the most random number’ as described by MIT.
  • In the film Three Days of the Condor, the title character played by Robert Redford works in section 17 of the CIA.
  • 17 Again (2009), directed by Burr Steers

Anime and manga

  • Android 17, a character from the Dragon Ball series
  • Detective Konawaka from the Paprika anime has a strong dislike for the number 17


  • The computer game Half-Life 2 takes place in and around City17
  • The visual novel Ever 17: The Out of Infinity strongly revolves around the number 17


For More Studies on Numbers Please Visit the “Number Studies” page.