And I was dead (kai egenomhn nekro). "And I be came dead" (aorist middle participle of ginomai as in John 1:9John 1:10 , definite reference to the Cross). I am alive (zwn eimi). Periphrastic present active indicative, "I am living," as the words o zwn just used mean. Forevermore (ei tou aiwna twn aiwnwn). "Unto the ages of the ages," a stronger expression of eternity even than in John 1:6 . The keys (ta klei). One of the forms for the accusative plural along with kleida, the usual one ( Matthew 16:19 ). Of death and of Hades (tou qanatou kai tou aidou). Conceived as in Matthew 16:18 as a prison house or walled city. The keys are the symbol of authority, as we speak of honouring one by giving him the keys of the city. Hades here means the unseen world to which death is the portal. Jesus has the keys because of his victory over death. See this same graphic picture in Matthew 6:8 ; Matthew 20:13 . For the key of David see Matthew 3:7 , for the key of the abyss see Matthew 9:1 ; Matthew 20:1 .