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Posts Tagged "Fifth O Advent Antiphon":

O Clavis David: The Fourth O Antiphon – 20 December

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O Clavis David


O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel;
qui aperis, et nemo claudit;
claudis, et nemo aperit:
veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris,
sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.


O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Isaiah had prophesied:

  • “I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.” Isaiah 22:22
  • “His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onwards and for evermore.” Isaiah 9:7
  • “…To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”Isaiah 42:7.


Googling ‘the key of David’, as I did before finalising this post, leads to some interesting – and to me curious – results. In this context, you may like to read the following:

Question: “What is the Key of David?”

Answer: The Key of David is a term found in Revelation and Isaiah. A key indicates control or authority; therefore, having the Key of David would give one control of David’s domain, i.e., Jerusalem, the City of David, and the kingdom of Israel. The fact that, in Revelation 3:7, Jesus holds this key shows that He is the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, the ruler of the New Jerusalem, and the Lord of the kingdom of heaven. However, the passage in Revelation has been used inappropriately by a number of cults that ultimately descend from the Christian Identity Movement via Armstrongism. The Philadelphia Church of God, a splinter group from the Worldwide Church of God, produces a television program called Key of David.

Scriptural Usage
The Key of David is most directly referenced in Revelation 3:7, “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.” The Old Testament reference is Isaiah 22:22. There, the prophet tells the palace secretary Shebna that he will be replaced by Eliakim, for God “will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David” (Isaiah 22:22). The one who holds the keys has the authority. Thus, the “key of David” implies control of David’s domain, which was promised to the Messiah in both the Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32).

Cultic Usage
The television show called Key of David is hosted by Gerald Flurry, the author of a book of the same name. Flurry is founder and pastor of the Philadelphia Church of God. His interpretations of Scripture include the twisting of many biblical prophecies and a reading of many other passages as being secretly prophetic. Flurry has a special interest in Revelation 3:7-13, the letter to the church at Philadelphia (the ancient city located in modern-day Turkey). Flurry claims that the “key of David” held by Christ is “the profound understanding he wants all of us to have” (Key of David, p. 10) which will lead to special “positions of authority” (p. 11) in the New Jerusalem. Flurry claims that the letter is a vision of what Christians of our time are to do, but that “only a small percentage” (p. 8) will understand this great vision, qualify to receive the special authority, and share the throne of David with Jesus.

I suppose the obvious point is that  ‘A key indicates control or authority’. St Peter carries the key of the Christian Church forward on earth after the death of Christ; popes and bishops have keys in their coats of arms or symbols. But for me what resonates in the image of Christ wielding the key of David is the verse from Isaiah: to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. (42.7). We are like the Hebrew slaves in Verdi’a Nabucco, wandering around in a desultory, almost zombie-like fashion until the coming of the Messiah sets us free and brings us into the light:
Here is  Va Pensiero:

Translation in English
Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate;
va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l’aure dolci del suolo natal!Del Giordano le rive saluta,
di Sionne le torri atterrate…
O, mia patria, sì bella e perduta!
O, membranza, sì cara e fatal!Arpa d’or dei fatidici vati,
perché muta dal salice pendi?
Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
ci favella del tempo che fu!O simile di Sòlima ai fati
traggi un suono di crudo lamento,
o t’ispiri il Signore un concento
che ne infonda al patire virtù.
Fly, thought, on wings of gold;
go settle upon the slopes and the hills,
where, soft and mild, the sweet airs
of our native land smell fragrant!Greet the banks of the Jordan
and Zion’s toppled towers…
Oh, my country, so beautiful and lost!
Oh, remembrance, so dear and so fatal!Golden harp of the prophetic seers,
why dost thou hang mute upon the willow?
Rekindle our bosom’s memories,
and speak to us of times gone by!Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem,
give forth a sound of crude lamentation,
or may the Lord inspire you a harmony of voices
which may instill virtue to suffering.
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