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The Bible speaks of "the Key of David" when it says:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Revelation 3:7 KJV)

What does the Bible mean by "the Key of David" that opens the door and no man closes and and closes so that no man can open. Is "the Key of David" some form of anointing? What is the key of David?

  • Each believer needs the "Key of David'. With this key we open the way to heaven, and close the way to hell. And as long as we use this key to open and shut, no-one can stop us. It is all up to us. The devil is powerless against the key of David. David eventually understood what this key was. – Constantthin Jul 20 '19 at 3:54
  • @Constantthin the key of David is just another way of saying the government or kingdom. the highest position of authority was to inherit the throne and kingdom of David. When you had that, you could do as you pleased as king. Clearly Jesus has that authority, to do as He pleases, open and close and no one can resist Him or ask Him what is He doing. King of kings and Lord of lords. The government was placed on his shoulders. Same place where the key is placed. – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 21 '19 at 2:36
  • John 5:19 "Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does". – Constantthin Jul 21 '19 at 2:40
  • @Constantthin I don’t follow what you are trying to say. The breastplate of judgement was attached at the shoulders. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder... ‭‭Isa9:6‬ “And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” ‭‭Isa22:22‬ “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."” ‭‭Matt16:19‬ it’s authority! Government – Nihil Sine Deo Jul 21 '19 at 3:25
  • Rom 8:29 "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters". – Constantthin Jul 21 '19 at 3:44

10 Answers 10

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This is an allusion to:

NIV Isaiah 22:

20“In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. 22I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat a of honor for the house of his father. 24All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots—all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.

The key of David is a supernatural key that has supernatural abilities to open and close. Once the key is used to close it it cannot be opened. Once the key is used to open it it cannot be closed.

Ellicot's Commentary has this to say:

The key of David.--Some early commentators saw in this key the key of knowledge which the scribes had taken away (Luke 11:52), and understood this expression here as implying that Christ alone could unloose the seals of Scripture, and reveal its hidden truth to men. In support of this they referred to Revelation 5:7-9. The fault of the interpretation is that it is too limited; it is only a corner of the full meaning. He who is "the True" alone can unlock the hidden treasures of truth. But the use of the word "David," and the obvious derivation of the latter part of this verse from Isaiah 22:22, points to a wider meaning. Jesus Christ is the true Steward of the house of David. (Comp. Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:5-6.) The faulty, self-seeking stewards, the Shebnas of Jerusalem and Philadelphia, vainly claimed a right of exclusion from synagogue or church, where Jesus, the God-fixed nail in the sure place, upon which the bundle of earth's sorrows and sins might securely be suspended (Isaiah 22:23-25), the Eliakim of a greater Zion, had the key of the sacred and royal house.

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  • Good answer +1. – user25930 Nov 1 '18 at 20:53
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When Jesus referred to the "Key of David" we know that King David; although he had sinned and suffered the consequences of sin by losing his first born son was still a believer and had a heart for God as was said "he is a man after God's own heart" ! Nevertheless, David's Kingdom was the Kingdom that Jesus Christ came out of and is the root and offspring of David. Jesus tells us in Revelation that those who repent, overcome, and keep our alliance with Him will He grant the Keys to the Kingdom of God , everlasting life ! Keys open doors and we have an open door to God through Jesus Christ to share in that Kingdom! Praise God ! The Key that opens the door opens a human heart to receive Jesus as the Son Of God and God himself in the flesh as human. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life and vs. 17 for He came not into the world to condemn it but through Him the world might be saved !!! The Key : God alone has the Key of David and God can and does come to us and can open the door and can shut the door. He never separates Himself from us but we can separate ourselves from Him if we "blaspheme against the Holy Spirit", it is the unpardonable sin. God our judge and ruler and creator over everything will be the One who will determine our fate ! HE IS THE KEY !!!!!!!

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We can associate the "Key of David" with accomplishment (opening and closing), such as the great commission (Rev. 3:8), but more importantly with the accomplishment of relationship through the Spirit. Part of this is, each of us being as David was, "after Gods own heart"; having a tender-hearted, loving, responsive relationship with God (Acts 13:22).

Christ promises to provide His Church with the keys of the kingdom in Mt.16:19. This section proclaims: Christ is Messiah; only truly known by those to whom the Father reveals it; that upon His Own Self He will develop His called-out ones (build His Church on the Rock / Petra); nothing shall stop Him (gates of hell not prevail); and through the keys necessary to enter the Kingdom which He will gift us, we will be able to make the most important of determinations in our own lives and Church community (binding and loosing). (Mt.16:17-19)

An alternate translation of that verse makes clearer the potential of this relationship. "And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you may bind on the earth will have already been bound in heaven; and whatever you may loose on the earth will have already been loosed in heaven." (A Faithful Version) This section is primarily about the effects of relationship with Messiah, secondarily Church authority. The context of the scripture is the Spirit given ability to recognize Messiah, and everything that recognition entails.

It describes a relationship of such depth, that by the love and understanding given through the Spirit, you will be able to make the correct determinations of "binding and loosing", the most official acts of the gospel ministry (establishing doctrine, ordinations, marking, etc).

The Key of David comprises of the Holy Spirit and the full personal relationship that develops from grace to grace (Jn. 1:16). It is primarily a term of potential, something God considers "as though it already is" (Rom.4:17), and finds expression in our weaknesses , our "little strength" (Rev.3:8; 2 Corr. 12:9).

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Rev. 3:7, 8, JB: “Here is the message of the holy and faithful one [Jesus] who has the key of David, so that when he opens, nobody can close, and when he closes, nobody can open: . . . I have opened in front of you a door that nobody will be able to close.”

Jesus gave Peter the Keys [] Added

Matthew 16:18, 19 NWTAlso, I say to you: You are Peter, and on this rock [Jesus] I will build my congregation, and the gates of the Grave will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the Kingdom . . .

to use to open up Kingdom preaching, acting under Jesus' direction, as Peter 1st to The Jews, 2nd then Samaritans, 3rd then Gentiles as in the begining he was used to spearhead the Preaching:-

Acts 1:8 NWT "But you will receive power when the holy spirit comes upon you, and you will be witnesses of me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the most distant part of the earth.”

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A key is a symbol of authority as defined by the context. opening and closing is a symbol of power and access granted or denied.

Jesus comes from the line of David. "The Son of David" will inherit and possess the unique power and rights of the kingdom. A door also signifies who receives access and who does not.

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  • This symbol of the Door appears in many of Jesus' parables and other places in the Bible. – Ted Myrrh Nov 13 '18 at 5:26
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The key of David speaks of the government of the Lord Jesus Christ upon us. We shall have peace no end when we submit to His government in our lives as the King sits in judgment.

Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV (6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

He has the key of David. He that opens and no man shuts is about those whom He sends out in His name (authority) to speak (with an open mouth....the open door of utterance) His words in the Spirit of the Lord. He gives them a mouth and wisdom that the enemies cannot resist (no man can shut).

Luke 21:15 KJV (15) For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

The Spirit of the LORD spoke through/by David's mouth. His Word was in his tongue.

2 Samuel 23:1-7 KJV (1) Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, (2) The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.

Another example: Stephen, who was full of faith and power, spoke His words of which the enemies could not withstand.

Acts 6:8-11 KJV (8) And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. (9) Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. (10) And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

But when the enemies cannot win the debate (dispute) of the subject matter, they resort to false accusations and personal attacks. They "kill" the messengers of His words with their words of wrath. They use “strength” in their words with wrath and false accusations against the speaker and cannot/will not listen. They "gnash their teeth" in rage and stop up their ears.

(11) Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

Yet the church in Philadelphia (brotherly love) shows us how to not deny His name ….His authority…His government. He is true....as His words are true...and we are to be holy as He is holy.

Revelation 3:7 KJV (7) And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

The “open door” is the open door of utterance that speaks His true words in His name (authority). Blessed is he that comes in the name (authority ) of the Lord. Those who listen to the open door listens to Him and those who reject what is said rejects Him who speaks (see Luke 10:16).

He sets that open door of utterance before them and the church in Philadelphia who uses “little strength” towards what the open door is saying. They shut their mouths (he shuts and no man opens).

Kings will shut their mouths because of Him because what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. (see Isaiah 52:15).

The only way...the key... to entering in to understand what is being said in the "open door" is to shut the mouth (use "little strength" in words) and hear what the Spirit is saying.

The church in Philadelphia shows brotherly love and actively hears what the Spirit is saying through the “open door” that is opened by the Lord to speak to their hearing ears.

The church in Philadelphia are quick to hear and slow to speak and slow to wrath. They are meek (having little strength) towards the open door of utterance. They do not deny His name…His authority... but observe and keep it. They keep His Word by doing it in their lives towards what they hear the Spirit saying to their ears. they do not resist the Spirit but shut the mouth to hear.

(8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

But those who “dwell upon the earth” will be tempted to speak out in strength (wrath, envy, strife, etc) towards what they hear what the “open door” has to say.

Revelation 3:10 KJV (10) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Those who “dwell upon the earth” (dwelling on the earthly wisdom: envy, strife, wrath, covetousness, etc) will not be focusing on those things above (the wisdom from above: peace, love, joy, patience, gentleness, etc) and they are caught by surprise by those who are sent out in His authority to speak His words to their ears via the “open door” of utterance.

They will not be found “watching” but “asleep” to His righteousness and will be tempted to speak out in wrath towards what they hear the Spirit saying. Those who cannot overcome do not enter into the understanding but are left outside in the "darkness". The wicked shall not understand while the righteous enter in to understand the mysteries of the kingdom.

Colossians 3:5-6 KJV (5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (6) For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

In summation, the key of David is about His government and submitting to that government which is the key to entering into His door of understanding/knowledge as He opens up the Scriptures to our hearing ears (He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches) via those who are sent out in His authority to speak His true words....with the "open door" of utterance. The "open door"...the open mouth that speaks via the Spirit...is to be met with little resistance (little strength, the shut mouth) in response and yielding to His government.

Thanks for reading and considering.

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These are notes from Brian Simmons "The Passion" translation:

The key of David unlocks intimacy and prayer. David was a man who lived in grace centuries before the gospel of God grace was unveiled. In that sense, the Key of David allowed him to view the future and live in the grace it would reveal.

3:8 This open door is likely an invitation to come into the fullness of Gods kingdom of Joy and power in the holy Spirit (Romans 14:17; Rev 4:1). Or it may refer to an open door of opportunity to give witness to others of Gods power and grace (1 Cor. 16:9, Col 4:3)

See Isaiah 22:22

Eliakim (a picture of Jesus) is to have unlimited control. The doors he opens (looses) are doors of revelation, treasures, favor, and opportunity. When he closes (binds) those doors, no amount of human striving can open them.

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What does “the key of David” imply in Revelation 3:7?

What does the Bible mean by "the Key of David" that opens the door and no man closes and and closes so that no man can open. Is "the Key of David" some form of anointing? What is the key of David.

Revelation 3:7 KJV

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;"

The Key of David

The "Key," in the scriptures is symbol of government,authority and power.(Isaiah 22:20-22)

God made a covenant for an everlasting kingdom with King David of Israel:

Psalm 89: 1-4,34-37 (NASB)

The Lord’s Covenant with David, and Israel’s Affliction

1 "I will sing of the loving kindness of the Lord forever; To all

generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 2 For I have said, “Loving kindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness.” 3 “I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations.”

34 “My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35 “Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 “His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37 “It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.”

King David and his descendants ruled in Jerusalem on God's throne until its destruction by the Babylonians, because that kingdom turned wicked , so God executed his judgement in fulfillment of the prophesy of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 21:27 (NASB)

27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it.( earthly Jerusalem) This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.’ "Until He comes whose right it is."

About 600 years later , God send his angel Gabriel to the Jewish virgin Mary, a descendant of King David and said to her:

Luke 1:31-33 (NET Bible)

31 "Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to[c] a son, and you will name him[d] Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

Jesus declares: I have the keys of death and hades:

Revelation 1:18 (NET Bible)

18 "And the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive—forever and ever—and I hold the keys of death and of Hades!"

"I was dead and now I am alive", Jesus is referring to his own experience, God did not leave his Son in hades, on the third day God personally raised him into a spirit being , gave him immortality,( Rom. 6:9, 1 Tim. 6:15-16) but also God gave Him "the keys of death and hades."

Having possession of those keys, Jesus is able to raise his faithful followers from the dead. When he does so, he confers upon the spirit-anointed members of his congregation the precious gift of immortal heavenly life, just as his Father did for him.

Philippians 3:20-21 (NET Bible)

20 "But our citizenship is in heaven—and we also eagerly await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform these humble bodies of ours into the likeness of his glorious body by means of that power by which he is able to subject all things to himself."

Romans 6:5 (NET Bible)

5 "For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be united in the likeness of his resurrection.

The key to resurrect the dead.

The "key" also includes authority to raise the dead from the confines of the grave.

John 5:25-29 (NASB)

25 "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is [a]the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."

The key of the abyss.

John in his vision describes an angel with that key casting Satan into abyss and sealing him for a thousand years, obviously by the use of the "key" of authority.

Revelation 20:1-7 (NASB)

Satan Bound

1 "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time."

4 "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of [b]their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years."

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The Lord Jesus is the successor to King David:

Luke 1:31-33 (DRB) Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

In the Davidic Kingdom, there was a prime minister or vicegerent of the King, who held the keys of the Kingdom; whether these were literal, or referred to delegated authority, they amount to the same symbol of authority, whichever is meant:

Isaiah 22:20-23 (DRB) And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliacim the son of Helcias, 21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda. 22 And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him as a peg in a sure place, and he shall be for a throne of glory to the house of his father.

The key of David is not 'shared' by the King, and by the King's vicegerent, but represents the Kingly authority, and, when spoken of with respect to the vicegerent (it's hard not to see this delegated key authority in Matthew 16 with reference to Peter), the delegated authority of the same is referred to.

Thus, Jesus, as the Davidic King, holds the power of binding and loosing in His Kingdom - which comprises of all creation: what he shuts, no one will open, and whatever he opens, no one will shut (of which, "binding and loosing" was the first century equivalent terminology: cf. Mt. 23:4).

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Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? Job 38:17 New International Version (NIV)

The sky above your heads will be bronze and the earth beneath you iron Deuteronomy 28:23 NET Bible

He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. Psalm 107:14-16 New International Version (NIV)

“This is what the Lord says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains[a]; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. Isaiah 45:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

Access to the third heaven, and getting out of the state of death, was no longer permitted to men, this conjecture was represented by the keys of bronze and iron. The key of David represented his access to physical Jerusalem, the door of righteousness, after the fall of the kingdom of error (Saul), and made the promise of Jesus, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 16:19, the rewritten struggle among the angel of the abyss (Rev 9:1; 20:1) and the Holy One, called the True One. (Rev 3:7)

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