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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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 Verse 6
Chapter 2
Verse 8
Chapter 4

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Revelation 3:7

In Philadelphia (en Piladelpiai).
Some twenty-eight miles south-east of Sardis, in Lydia, subject to earthquakes, rebuilt by Tiberius after the great earthquake of A.D. 17, for a time called in coins Neo-Caesarea, in wine-growing district with Bacchus (Dionysos) as the chief deity, on fine Roman roads and of commercial importance, though not a large city, called by Ramsay (op. cit., p. 392) "the Missionary City" to promote the spread of the Graeco-Roman civilization and then of Christianity, later offering stubborn resistance to the Turks (1379-90 A.D.) and now called Ala-Sheher (reddish city, Charles, from the red hills behind it). The chief opposition to the faithful little church is from the Jews (cf. Ro 9-11). There are some 1,000 Christians there today.

The holy, he that is true (o agios, o alhtinov).
Separate articles (four in all) for each item in this description. "The holy, the genuine." Asyndeton in the Greek. Latin Vulgate, Sanctus et Verus. Ho agiov is ascribed to God in 4:8; 6:10 (both agiov and alhtinov as here), but to Christ in Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 4:27,30; 1 John 2:20, a recognized title of the Messiah as the consecrated one set apart. Swete notes that alhtinov is verus as distinguished from verax (alhthv). So it is applied to God in 6:10 and to Christ in 3:14; 19:11 as in John 1:9; 6:32; 15:1.

He that hath the key of David (o exwn thn klein Daueid).
This epithet comes from Isaiah 22:22, where Eliakim as the chief steward of the royal household holds the keys of power. Christ as the Messiah (Revelation 5:5; 22:16) has exclusive power in heaven, on earth, and in Hades (Matthew 16:19; 28:18; Romans 14:9; Philippians 2:9; Revelation 1:18). Christ has power to admit and exclude of his own will (Matthew 25:10; Ephesians 1:22; Revelation 3:21; 19:11-16; 20:4; 22:16).

And none shall shut (kai oudeiv kleisei).
Charles calls the structure Hebrew (future active indicative of kleiw), and not Greek because it does not correspond to the present articular participle just before o anoigwn (the one opening), but it occurs often in this book as in the very next clause, "and none openeth" (kai oudeiv anoigei) over against kleiwn (present active participle, opening) though here some MSS. read kleiei (present active indicative, open).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 3:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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