O Clavis David

Source: District of Asia

Dec. 20. O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel: You open and no man closes; You close and no man opens.  Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

During the reign of Ezechias (726-697) God sent His prophet Isaiah with a message to Shebna, the impious majordomo of the palace.  The prophet informed the unfaithful steward that he would die in exile, and that his place would be taken by Eliakim who would enjoy the full confidence of the king.  The Lord would place on Eliakim’s shoulder the key (i.e, the sceptre) of the house of David, signifying that he would be invested with full authority to rule God’s chosen people in the name of the king, with a father’s care (Is. 22, 21): “I shall place on his shoulder the key of the house of David: When he opens none will be able to shut; when he shuts none will be able to open” (v. 22).

The ministry and the power entrusted to Eliakim were a prefiguration of the mission of the Messiah (Apoc. 3, 7).  Yet, His mission was not to be restricted to the children of Israel.  In the first “Song of the Servant of Yahweh” God manifested to the prophet the Messiah’s mission to the Gentiles: “I have appointed you to be a light to the Gentiles, to give light to eyes that are blinded, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison where they lie in darkness” (Is. 42, 6f).  On the occasion of the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple, Simeon taking the Child in his arms blessed God saying: “My eyes have seen the Saviour … the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2, 31f; cp. 1, 79).