Philadelphia, so called from its founder, Attalus Philadelphus, still exists in the town called Allah-shear, “the city of God.” . . . The number of houses is said to be about 3000, of which 250 are Greek, the rest Turkish; and the Christians have twenty-five places of worship, five of them large and regular churches, a resident bishop, and twenty inferior clergy.3He who is holy,
Then it shall be in that Day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah; I will clothe him with your robe and strengthen him with your belt; I will commit your responsibility into his hand. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 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. I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, and he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. (Isa. 22:20-23)
This key was properly handled by the king (Rev. 3:7+), and therefore by the “house-mayor” only in his stead. The power of the keys consisted not only in the supervision of the royal chambers, but also in the decision who was and who was not to be received into the king’s service. There is a resemblance, therefore, to the giving of the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Peter under the New Testament. But there the “binding” and “loosing” introduce another figure, though one similar in sense; whereas here, in the “opening” and “shutting,” the figure of the key is retained.6The key being laid on his shoulder speaks of committing responsibility into his hand and alludes to Isaiah’s prophecy of the ultimate Davidic ruler:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isa. 9:6-7) [emphasis added]Being both God and man, in the line of David (Mat. 1:1, 6; Luke 3:31), Christ alone has the authority to open the scroll initiating the judgments which usher in the Davidic kingdom upon the earth. “But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’ ” (Rev. 5:5+).Some interpreters see these keys as being identical with the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 16:19; Heb. 3:6).7 Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and was personally present when each of the 3 person groups (Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles: Acts 1:8) first received the Holy Spirit.8 Jesus chastised the scribes and Pharisees, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in” (Mat. 23:13). Instead, authority to enter the kingdom of heaven was entrusted to a simple fisherman (Mat. 16:19). The authority of heaven stands behind the Spirit-led decisions of the church (Mat. 18:18; John 20:23).Concerning the keys of Hades and Death, see commentary on Revelation 1:18.He who opens and no one shuts
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. (Mat. 25:10)
When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from.’ (Luke 13:25)
1 Copyright © 2003 www.BiblePlaces.com. This image appears by special permission and may not be duplicated for use in derivative works. Architrave: The lowermost part of an entablature in classical architecture that rests directly on top of a column. Also called epistyle.
2 Jerome Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992), Rev. 3:7.
4 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1-7 (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1992), 273.
5 “By Metonymy of the Adjunct, whereby the sign is put for the thing signified, ‘key’ is put for governmental authority, of which it is the sign.”—Smith, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Rev. 3:7.
6 Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 7:262.
7 Richard Chenevix Trench, Commentary on the Epistles to the Seven Churches in Asia (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1861).
8 Although Paul is commissioned as the apostle to the Gentiles in Acts 9:1-43, it is Peter who first takes the gospel to the Gentiles in Acts 10:1-48. Why? Because it is Peter who has the keys to the kingdom.