Key - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G2807, kleis ]
a key," is used metaphorically
(a) of "the keys of the kingdom of heaven," which the Lord committed to Peter, Matthew 16:19, by which he would open the door of faith, as he did to Jews at Pentecost, and to Gentiles in the person of Cornelius, acting as one commissioned by Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit; he had precedence over his fellow disciples, not in authority, but in the matter of time, on the ground of his confession of Christ (Matthew 18:16); equal authority was committed to them (Matthew 18:18);
(b) of "the key of knowledge," Luke 11:52, i.e., knowledge of the revealed will of God, by which men entered into the life that pleases God; this the religious leaders of the Jews had presumptuously "taken away," so that they neither entered in themselves, nor permitted their hearers to do so;
(c) of "the keys of death and of Hades," Revelation 1:18, RV (See HADES), indicative of the authority of the Lord over the bodies and souls of men;
(d) of "the key of David," Revelation 3:7, a reference to Isaiah 22:22, speaking of the deposition of Shebna and the investiture of Eliakim, in terms evidently Messianic, the metaphor being that of the right of entrance upon administrative authority; the mention of David is symbolic of complete sovereignty;
(e) of "the key of the pit of the abyss," Revelation 9:1; here the symbolism is that of competent authority; the pit represents a shaft or deep entrance into the region (See ABYSS), from whence issued smoke, symbolic of blinding delusion;
(f) of "the key of the abyss," Revelation 20:1; this is to be distinguished from
(e): the symbolism is that of the complete supremacy of God over the region of the lost, in which, by angelic agency, Satan is destined to be confined for a thousand years.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words