on Revelation 3 :7
He that is holy - In whom holiness essentially dwells, and from whom all holiness is derived.
He that is true - He who is the fountain of truth; who cannot lie nor be imposed on; from whom all truth proceeds; and whose veracity in his Revelation is unimpeachable.
He that hath the key of David - See this metaphor explained, Matthew 16:19. Key is the emblem of authority and knowledge; the key of David is the regal right or authority of David. David could shut or open the kingdom of Israel to whom he pleased. He was not bound to leave the kingdom even to his eldest son. He could choose whom he pleased to succeed him. The kingdom of the Gospel, and the kingdom of heaven, are at the disposal of Christ. He can shut against whom he will; he can open to whom he pleases. If he shuts, no man can open; if he opens, no man can shut. His determinations all stand fast, and none can reverse them. This expression is an allusion to Isaiah 22:22, where the prophet promises to Eliakim, under the symbol of the key of the house of David, the government of the whole nation; i.e., all the power of the king, to be executed by him as his deputy; but the words, as here applied to Christ, show that He is absolute.
on Revelation 3 :7
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia - See the notes on Revelation 1:20.
These things saith he that is holy - This refers undoubtedly to the Lord Jesus. The appellation holy, or the holy one, is one that befits him, and is not infrequently given to him in the New Testament, Luke 1:35; Acts 2:27; Acts 3:14. It is not only an appellation appropriate to the Saviour, but well adapted to be employed when he is addressing the churches. Our impression of what is said to us will often depend much on our idea of the character of him who addresses us, and solemnity and thoughtfulness always become us when we are addressed by a holy Redeemer.
He that is true - Another characteristic of the Saviour well suited to be referred to when he addresses people. It is a characteristic often ascribed to him in the New Testament (John 1:9, John 1:14, John 1:17; John 8:40, John 8:45; John 14:6; John 18:37; 1 John 5:20), and one which is eminently adapted to impress the mind with solemn thought in view of the fact that he is to pronounce on our character, and to determine our destiny.
He that hath the key of David - This expression is manifestly taken from Isaiah 22:22, "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder." See the passage explained in the notes on that place. As used by Isaiah, the phrase is applied to Eliakim; and it is not to be inferred, because the language here is applied to the Lord Jesus, that originally it had any such reference. "The application of the same terms," says Prof. Alexander on Isaiah 22:22, "to Peter Matthew 16:19, and to Christ himself Revelation 3:7, does not prove that they here refer to either, or that Eliakim was a type of Christ, but merely that the same words admit of different applications." The language is what properly denotes authority or control - as when one has the key of a house, and has unlimited access to it; and the meaning here is, that as David is represented as the king of Israel residing in a palace, so he who had the key to that palace had regal authority.
He that openeth, and no man shutteth, ... - He has free and unrestrained access to the house; the power of admitting anyone, or of excluding anyone. Applied here to the Saviour, as king in Zion, this means that in his kingdom he has the absolute control in regard to tire admission or exclusion of anyone. He can prescribe the terms; he can invite whom he chooses; he can exclude those whom he judges should not be admitted. A reference to this absolute control was every way proper when he was addressing a church, and is every way proper for us to reflect on when we think of the subject of our personal salvation.
on Revelation 3 :7
3:7 The holy one, the true one - Two great and glorious names He that hath the key of David - A master of a family, or a prince, has one or more keys, wherewith he can open and shut all the doors of his house or palace. So had David a key, a token of right and sovereignty, which was afterward adjudged to Eliakim, Isaiah 22:22. Much more has Christ, the Son of David, the key of the spiritual city of David, the New Jerusalem; the supreme right, power, and authority, as in his own house. He openeth this to all that overcome, and none shutteth: he shutteth it against all the fearful, and none openeth. Likewise when he openeth a door on earth for his works or his servants, none can shut; and when he shutteth against whatever would hurt or defile, none can open.