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3:7

 
 
And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia, write: These things saith the Holy One and the true one, he that hath the key of David; he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth:
 
 
 
 
Origen
 
For every written work needs the Reason (Logos) which closed it to open it. 'He shall shut and none shall open,' and when he opens no one can cast doubt on the interpretation he brings. Hence it is said that 'He shall open and no man shall shut.' (Comm. on John 5.4.)___________________________________________________________
 
St. Gregory Thaumaturgus
 
These things, moreover, as I judge, he gives forth only and truly by participation in the Divine Spirit: for there is need of the same power for or those who prophesy and for those who hear the prophets; and no one can rightly hear a prophet, unless the same Spirit who prophesies bestows on him the capacity of apprehending His words. And this principle is expressed indeed in the Holy Scriptures themselves, when it is said that only He who shuts opens, and no other one whatever; and what is shut is opened when the word of inspiration explains mysteries. [Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen 15]
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Tyconius
 
Who has the key of David,” that is, royal authority. He says ‘the key of David’ either because Christ was born from his family or because David himself foretold many things concerning Christ. Through the dispensation of Christ, as though by a key, the secrets of the law and of the prophets and of the Psalms were made manifest. Christ Himself attests to this when He says, “Everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.(Lk. 24:44)” “Who opens and no one shall shut, who shuts and no one opens.” It is evident that Christ opens the door to those who knock, but to hypocrites who knock and say, “Lord, Lord open to us,(Mt. 25:11)” He closes the door of life and says to them, “I do not know from where you come; I never knew you, you evildoers.(Mt. 7:23)”
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St. Jerome

John says in the Apocalypse: 'he who has the key of David, he who opens and no one shuts, and who shuts and no one opens.' This is the key held in the Law by the scribes and Pharisees who the Lord warns in the Gospel: 'Woe to you lawyers! who hold the key of the kingdom of heaven' (Luke 11:52). O you Pharisees, who hold the keys to the kingdom and do not believe in Christ who is the gate of the kingdom and the door, to you, indeed, the promise is made, but to us it is granted." (Homily 66)

How many there are today who fancy themselves learned, yet the Scriptures are a sealed book to them, and one which they cannot open unless through Him who has the key of David, "he that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth." In the Acts of the Apostles the holy eunuch (or rather "man" for so the scripture calls him) when reading Isaiah he is asked by Philip "Understandest thou what thou readest?", makes answer:--"How can I except some man should guide me?" To digress for a moment to myself, I am neither holier nor more diligent than this eunuch, who came from Ethiopia, that is from the ends of the world, to the Temple leaving behind him a queen's palace, and was so great a lover of the Law and of divine knowledge that he read the holy scriptures even in his chariot. Yet although he had the book in his hand and took into his mind the words of the Lord, nay even had them on his tongue and uttered them with his lips, he still knew not Him, whom--not knowing--he worshipped in the book. Then Philip came and showed him Jesus, who was concealed beneath the letter. Wondrous excellence of the teacher! In the same hour the eunuch believed and was baptized; he became one of the faithful and a saint. He was no longer a pupil but a master; and he found more in the Church's font there in the wilderness than he had ever done in the gilded temple of the synagogue. [Letter 53] 
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Primasius
 
The secret of the divine law are disclosed to the faithful by the power of Christ alone, and they are closed to the unbelievers. However, when He loosens, no one shuts, and when He binds, no one loosens.
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Oecumenius
 
He calls authority a key. For he who has been entrusted with the key of the house has been entrusted with the authority to open and shut. And he more clearly sated this in the gospels in the promises to Peter. For when he said, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of Heaven,” He immediately adds, “and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.(Matt. 16:18)” Since therefore the key symbolizes authority, by saying he has the key of David he intimates that just as David was king of the perceptible Israel, so am I king over the spiritual Israel as well as over the perceptible Israel, even if the superiority of His authority differs by incomparable excess. For what kind of equal honor can a human being have in comparison with God? This was also the message that the divine angel Gabriel brought to the Virgin about the Lord, saying, “and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.(Lk. 1:32-33)” Since, therefore, Christ introduced an image of the kingdom of David, He rightly says, “He who has the key of David.” Then continuing with the figure of the key, He adds, who opens and no one shuts, who shuts and no one opens. For God is the one who acquits; who is the one who condemns?(Rom. 8:33-34)” He means that opening and shutting is acquitting and condemning. 
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St. Andrew of Caesarea
 
His kingdom is called the key of David, for it is the symbol of authority. The key is also the Holy Spirit, (the key) of both the book of Psalms and every prophecy, through which the treasures of knowledge are opened. On the one hand, he receives the first according to his humanity, and on the other hand he possesses the second according to the beginninglessness of his divinity. Since in some manuscripts instead of David, Hades is written, (this would mean that) through the key of Hades, the authority over life and death has been confirmed in Christ. He is holy and true, as absolute Holiness and self-existent Truth.
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Andreas of Caesarea
 
Christ is called Holy and True, as if of himself he were Holiness itself and Truth itself.
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St. Bede
 
Philadelphia. Philadelphia is interpreted "brotherly love," and to it is the door of the kingdom opened, and the promise made of being beloved by the Lord.

key. That is, royal power, either because He was born of the family of David, or because the prophecy of David was made manifest by the dispensation of Christ.

openeth. The secrets of the divine law are opened to the faithful, and shut to the unbelieving, by the power of Christ alone.

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Bulus al-Bushi

no one shuts: This means the power of the dominion of His divinity; when He justifies, no one can condemn, and when he passes judgment, no one can escape His hands.

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Nicholas of Lyra
 
And to the angel of the church of PhiladelphiaExpositors commonly say that this was Quadratus, about whom it is written in Eusebius, that he was especially skilled in sacred writing and wrote many things to defend the faith of Christ and to confute the infidels. he that hath the key of David That is, the power to open the understanding of the Scriptures, “And he opened to them the sense of the Scriptures.(Lk. 24:33)” he that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth No one is able to impede those from understanding the Scriptures whom he wishes to instruct; nor can anyone understand the Scriptures except by referring to Him.
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Richard of St. Victor
 
And lest you should believe that any other hath the same power, hear thou that it is He alone who is able, 'Who opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens.' He opens the hearts of men to the understanding of faith; he opens their mouths to the preaching of the Word; he opens the affection to a state of love; he opens the tongues of preachers, teaching them how to preach; he opens the hearts of the people to believe. And as what he opens to his chosen, he shuts to the reprobate, it is rightly said 'he shuts and no man opens.' Wherefore when he opens no one can shut, as testified in the Acts of the Apostles; 'We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.' And a little afterwards, speaking of the Jews, 'They could not resist the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke.' When however he shuts to the wicked those things which arc right, their sins requiring it, no one can open ; because whom he disesteems, no one can correct.
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Rupert of Deutz
 
What is this key, but the key of the Holy Spirit? For he himself is the illumination of the heart, he himself is the declaration of the words of God, which gives light and understanding to the simple. Whence the apostle says, ' But unto us God hath revealed them by his spirit; because the spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.' And commending the power and efficacy of this key, he immediately subjoins, 'Who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.' This likewise we ought indubitably to know, and knowing, in humility to fear. For whenever this key-bearer opens to any one, by a spirit of understanding, the truth of God which is contained in the sacred Scriptures, no one shuts up the mouth of that person, or convicts him of lies or the artifices of false arguments. For always having the door open, he runs into the interior, and there hastening to take up the ready testimonies of Scripture, like a good archer he directs his unfailing arrows against the enemy. While on the contrary, whenever the Lord closes the door against any one, that he may not understand the words of truth, this he does by a just judgment. For in this case, that swine may not trample under foot the pearls which are thrown before them, no one can understand, let him make what noise he may please outside, in his declamation and teaching.
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Haydock Bible
 
To the Angel of the church of Philadelphia. There were several towns of this name; here is understood that which was near Sardis, in Lydia. Here is no more than an admonition to persevere, to hold that which thou hast. Christ takes the title of the Holy One, and True One, who hath the key of David; i.e. being the son of David, and the promised Messias, hath supreme power in the Church: who opens the gate of salvation, and no one shuts it against his elect. (Witham) --- By the key in this place may be understood either the key of the Church, or of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus Christ has both, he opens and shuts the heavens by his infinite power. But in the Church on earth he has entrusted this key (his power) to his apostles and ministers; whatever is bound or loosened by them is ratified by him in the kingdom of his glory. (Calmet) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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