Key [N] [S]

frequently mentioned in Scripture. It is called in Hebrew maphteah , i.e., the opener ( Judges 3:25 ); and in the Greek New Testament kleis , from its use in shutting ( Matthew 16:19 ; Luke 11:52 ; Revelation 1:18 , etc.). Figures of ancient Egyptian keys are frequently found on the monuments, also of Assyrian locks and keys of wood, and of a large size (Compare Isaiah 22:22 ).

The word is used figuratively of power or authority or office ( Isaiah 22:22 ; Revelation 3:7 ; Revelation 1:8 ; comp 9:1 ; 20:1 ; Compare also Matthew 16:19 ; 18:18 ). The "key of knowledge" ( Luke 11:52 ; Compare Matthew 23:13 ) is the means of attaining the knowledge regarding the kingdom of God. The "power of the keys" is a phrase in general use to denote the extent of ecclesiastical authority.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Key". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .