A close-up shot of a weathered hand, holding a tarnished key, symbolizing the mystery and power bestowed by God upon the chosen recipient of the Key of David.

Who Did God Give The Key Of David To?

The key of David is an important biblical concept that refers to Jesus Christ and His authority over God’s kingdom. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: God gave the key of David to Jesus Christ, allowing Him to open and close the doors to salvation and access God’s kingdom.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the meaning behind the key of David, where this symbolism originated, who exactly received this key, and what it signifies for Christ’s identity and spiritual authority.

Understanding the Biblical Reference to the Key of David

The mysterious phrase “the key of David” is found in two places in the Bible – Isaiah 22 and Revelation 3. This key is connected to authority over God’s kingdom, but what exactly does it refer to?

The phrase comes from Isaiah 22 and Revelation 3

In Isaiah 22:22, the prophet Isaiah says, “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.” This passage refers to Eliakim, who would replace the unfaithful steward Shebna over King Hezekiah’s household.

Eliakim would have authority to open and close the doors of the king’s house.

Centuries later in Revelation 3:7, Jesus tells the church in Philadelphia, “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”

Here Jesus claims the messianic authority foretold by Isaiah through his reference to the key of David.

It refers to the authority over the house of David/God’s kingdom

So in both passages, the key of David represents governing authority over the house of David – which is God’s kingdom. Jesus, as the promised Messiah descendent of David, has the right to administer access to God’s kingdom.

The key of David is a symbol of the full authority God has entrusted to Jesus Christ over the church.

Possession of this key means that Jesus decides who may enter His kingdom and participate in its blessings. He opens the door of salvation through His sacrificial death, and no one can close it. But for those who reject Christ, He shuts the door of the kingdom, and no one can open it.

The key of David represents Jesus’ supreme control over His church.

Jesus Christ as the Ultimate Recipient of the Key

Christ claims this authority in Revelation 3

In Revelation 3:7, Jesus proclaims that he holds “the key of David.” This metaphorical key represents the authority to open and shut doors – specifically, the door of salvation and entrance into God’s kingdom. Jesus claimed this authority as the heir to David’s throne.

As the long-awaited Messiah, Jesus reigned supreme and could determine who would enter the kingdom of God.

According to Bible scholars, Jesus’ possession of the key shows his role as administrator of the Davidic covenant. By controlling access to salvation, Jesus asserts his power to initiate judgment and determine the subset of humanity which will be saved.

He is the heir to David’s throne and ushers in a greater kingdom

Jesus claimed authority as the heir to King David’s throne. According to divine prophecy, the Messiah would reign on David’s throne forever (2 Samuel 7:12-13, Luke 1:32-33). Jesus asserted this heritage through statements like “I am the root and descendant of David” (Revelation 22:16).

As rightful heir, Jesus took the authority of David’s throne to new heights. While David’s rule was limited to the nation of Israel, Jesus ushered in a universal kingdom encompassing all peoples. He holds “the key of the house of David” (Isaiah 22:22) – signifying full authority over this greater, spiritual kingdom that knows no earthly borders.

A 2022 Pew Research study showed over 2.38 billion Christians now identify Jesus Christ as their spiritual ruler. This staggering statistic shows the expansive reach of the throne over which he reigns.

Though his kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36), Jesus possesses supreme spiritual authority over a realm more vast than any earthly domain.

The Significance of Christ Possessing the Key of David

It affirms His identity as the prophesied Messiah

Jesus fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 22:22 and receiving the key of David affirms His status as the long-awaited Messiah. As foretold by the prophet Isaiah around 700 years before Christ, the one with the key of David would “open and no one will shut, and shut and no one open” (Revelation 3:7).

By possessing this authority from God the Father, Christ validated His identity as the chosen redeemer and king that Scripture prophesied would come.

It grants Him spiritual authority over salvation and judgement

Possessing the key of David means that Jesus has authority over who may enter or be excluded from God’s kingdom. He determines who is saved through faith in Him or judged for rejecting Him as Savior and Lord (John 3:16-18).

The book of Revelation shows Christ using this authority to assess the spiritual condition of churches, warning some about their need to repent while commending others for their faithfulness (Revelation 2-3).

His authority over salvation and judgement stems from His identity as the divine Son of God.

He holds power to open and close the gates of God’s kingdom

As the one with the keys of David, Christ also has authority over the kingdom of heaven – determining who can access it now on Earth and in eternity. Matthew 16:19 records Him saying He will give Peter “the keys of the kingdom of heaven”, showing His power over its gates.

And at judgement, Christ will welcome faithful believers into heaven but shut out unrepentant sinners (Luke 13:22-30). Truly the prophetic key of David gives Him supreme power to grant access to salvation or exclude people from God’s glorious kingdom.


In closing, we have seen that the key of David is a symbol of authority over God’s kingdom that originated in Old Testament prophecy. Jesus Christ claimed this key for Himself, identifying as the heir to David’s throne with the right to govern over the people of God.

Possessing this key affirms Christ’s identity as the Messiah and gives Him the power to determine who may enter God’s kingdom through salvation. He alone holds the keys to eternal life.

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