The term “key of David” has been spoken of frequently in recent history. Let’s examine its origins in scripture and understand how it applies to today’s ekklesia. There are only two scriptures in the Bible with direct references to the key of David.
One is Isaiah 22: 22 and the other is Revelation 3: 7. “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open. Isaiah 22: 22 “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…” Revelation 3: 7
The first passage, Isaiah 22: 15-25, contains the story of Shebna who was a royal steward (treasurer) of the palace during the reign of Hezekiah. He occupied a high office with great responsibility. Thus says the Lord God of hosts, “Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household, ‘What right do you have here, and whom do you have here, that you have hewn a tomb for yourself here, you who hew a tomb on the height, you who carve a resting place for yourself in the rock? Behold, the Lord is about to hurl you headlong, O man. And He is about to grasp you firmly and roll you tightly like a ball, to be cast into a vast country; there you will die and there your splendid chariots will be, you shame of your master’s house.’ I will depose you from your office, and I will pull you down from your station. Then it will come about in that day, that I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and I will clothe him with your tunic and tie your sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, and he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, when he opens no one will shut, when he shuts no one will open. I will drive him like a peg in a firm place, and he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house. So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, offspring and issue, all the least of vessels, from bowls to all the jars. In that day,” declares the Lord of hosts , “the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 22: 15-25
We are not told everything about Shebna. However, in verse sixteen we are given a glimpse into his character. It was a common practice for those of high rank to be buried in a large, beautiful tomb or vault in a place of honor. Shebna was preparing such a place of honor, building a name for himself to be honored after he died. He was focused on himself and leaving a legacy. Shebna was obviously a prideful man. In verses 19 and 20 we are told that God removed him from his office because of pride and replaced him with a man named Eliakim. Then in verse 22, we read that the Lord will “set the key of the house of David on his [Eliakim’s ] shoulder.” Note that in this passage the key of David is referred to specifically as “the key of the house of David.” The Lord is the One who associated this key with the name of David. Jesus, in Revelation 3: 7, also referred to this key, calling it simply the key of David. So why is David’s name associated with this key?
Excerpt from my book “Ekklesia: The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth”