The Key of David

The invention of locks and keys is extremely ancient. But it was the Romans, nearly 2,000 years ago, who refined and developed their use. Because togas normally lacked pockets, they created the key ring.

In biblical imagery, keys signify status, power, and authority. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He [Jesus] who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David”’” (Rev. 3:7). The apostle John used the phrase key of David as a metaphor to declare a definite doctrine for the whole Church Age through the church in Philadelphia.

The source for the motif key of David is from Isaiah 22:22: “The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open.” The one who possesses the key has the authority to establish and rule the earthly Kingdom to come.

The vital message for the church today is that, despite the tribulational judgments to come, Israel’s national hope will not be frustrated. God will keep His promises. That is why Jesus is presented preliminarily as holy and true. To the church and Israel that means He is El k’dosh Yisrael, “the Holy One of Israel,” and Elohim Emet, “the God of Truth.” Therefore, He alone holds the key.

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