Revelation 3:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 3:7, NIV: "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 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."

Revelation 3:7, ESV: "“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens."

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;"

Revelation 3:7, NASB: "'And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:"

Revelation 3:7, NLT: "'Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia. This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open:"

Revelation 3:7, CSB: ""Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia: Thus says the Holy One, the true one, the one who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and who closes and no one opens:"

What does Revelation 3:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Philadelphia was located about 28 miles southeast of Sardis. Its name combines the Greek words for "love" and "brothers." The city was known for its numerous vineyards. The abundant production of wine led the citizens into the worship of Dionysius, the god of wine. The city was also prone to earthquakes. The king of Pergamum founded the city in in 189 BC and named it Philadelphia because of His brother's loyalty to him; his brother was the king of Lydia.

In His letter to the church at Philadelphia Jesus identifies himself as holy and true. The two characteristics are significant. Because Jesus is holy, He cannot lie. Therefore, He is both holy and true. Hebrews 7 tells how Jesus is a better priest than the priests of Israel. Verse 26 describes Him as "a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens." In John14:6 Jesus identified himself to His disciples as the truth. The church at Philadelphia could accept Jesus' words as absolutely true.

Jesus also identifies himself in verse 7 as the one who has the key of David. The mention of David puts this verse in a messianic context. Someday Jesus will exercise His authority to allow saved individuals, both born-again Gentiles and saved Jews to enter His earthly kingdom. Also, He will use the key to lock out all unbelievers. Because Jesus is the son of David, He has the indisputable right to the royal line. As Israel's promised king, He will rule the nations from the throne of Israel.

It is also true that Jesus holds the key to open and shut a door that no one can open. He was able to use the key to open the doors of opportunity for the church at Philadelphia to advance the gospel into Asia's unevangelized regions. Further, He could use the key to lock out the church's enemies.