The 'O' Antiphons - O Clavis David
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LATIN: 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.
strong>ENGLISH: O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and lead forth the captive who sits in the shadows from his prison.
Scripture Reference: Isaiah 22:22 - Revelation 3:7
Relevant verse of Veni, Veni Emmanuel: O come, thou Key of David, come. And open wide our heavenly home. Make safe the way that leads on high. And close the path to misery.
The version from the Dominican antiphonarium:
ENGLISH: O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
REFLECTION: What solace there is this antiphon.
In the 8th century BC King Hezekiah saw troubled times. Sargon the Assyrian invaded. Sennnacherib invaded. You might know the poem of Byron: "The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, / And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold...". They were saved by the Angel who smote the invaders with the plague and slew 185,000 in the night. Hezekiah instituted a religious renewal, which included the suppression of idolatry and polytheism which had grown up over time. Hezekiah, a descendent of David, is a foreshadow figure of Christ to come. Hezekiah cleansed the Temple. Hezekiah rose from a dire illness on the third day. Hezekiah gives the "key of David" to his steward Eliakim, all his authority, as an office to be handed on.
In Isaiah 22:22:
And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open.
Government shall be upon his shoulder.
In Matthew 6:19, when the Lord speaks to Peter near the source of the Jordan, we read:
And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
David's key is again mentioned in Revelation 3:7-8:
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: I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength and hast kept my word and hast not denied my name.
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