Eliakim and the Key and Peter and the Keys

I am well aware of the similarities between Eliakim in Isaiah 22 and Peter in Matthew 16. However, I am confused on the plurality of the keys in Matthew 16 and the singularity of the key in Isaiah 22. Could somebody please explain this to me?


Great resource.

Thank you for your response. I did read that. However, I am still wondering specifically about the change from singular to plural in the Keys.

Hello wsoxfan7.

You asked:

I am well aware of the similarities between Eliakim in Isaiah 22 and Peter in Matthew 16. However, I am confused on the plurality of the keys in Matthew 16 and the singularity of the key in Isaiah 22. Could somebody please explain this to me?

I always thought that as we move the church from the Davidic Kingdom, God takes on to Himself a Catholic or Universal Church in a fulfilled sense.

As the Church is being fulfilled in Christ, its scope and mission expands.

This doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t still hold the “Key of David” too.

Jesus DOES ultimately possess the key of David. (Just as Jesus ultimately possesses the Keys of the Kingdom that He administers to Peter.)

We see this situation of Jesus still posessing the key of David in Revelation 3:7 where Jesus is addressing those still of the synagogue. So here in Revelation 3:7, we would expect Jesus to appeal to those of the synogogue using a familiar Old Covenant example and prototype.

But as Jesus builds His Church, (“I will build my Church” as Jesus states in Matthew 16), the keys in a plural sense, gives us a suggestion or allegory, of MORE authority than was administered to the Old Covenant stewards, more doors being opened, more responsibility being rendered by Jesus to Peter.

And subsequently we see the implied promise of even MORE protection from Jesus to the earthly holder of these Keys of not just David’s Old Covenant Kingdom, but to the holder of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven! We see the implied promise of even MORE protection from Jesus to Peter (and St. Peter’s successors).

I hope this helps.

God bless and welcome to CAF (I see you only have a few posts).


Perhaps the plural *keys *was used for Peter because the use of the singular *key *would too easily be misunderstood as referring to esoteric knowledge, instead of public authority.

Thank you for all of your responses. They were very informative.


Also see: defendingthebride.com/ch/ca/rock3.html

Part III - Keys of the Kingdom
Keys at Caesarea Philippi

***ALL ***Links are operational


*]keys Mt 16:19
*]key Isaiah 22
*]key Rev 3
κλεῖδας , & κλεῖν , are used in two different Greek sources for the same passage

***ALL ***Links are operational

Re: Keys or key. Mt 16:19

Both Greek words are used in Mt 16:19, depending on which source one uses. Both mean " key". It doesn’t make a distinction for singular or plural.


*]from the Greek study bible, κλεῖδας , is used
*]from the Byzantine text κλεῖν , is used
Here’s the sources

**Mt 16:19 **

From the Greek Study Bible

δώσω σοι τὰς κλεῖδας τῆς βασιλείας

[FONT=&quot]From the [size=4]Byzantine text
και δωσω σοι τας κλεῖν της βασιλειας
Translation in English

"I will give you the keys of the kingdom


                     Thayer's Expanded Definition
                       κλείς, κλειδός, accusative κλεῖδα and κλεῖν ( Luke 11:52; Revelation 3:7), accusative plural κλεῖδας and κλείς ( Matthew 16:19; Revelation 1:18; cf. Kühner, § 130, i., p. 357;  Winer s Grammar, 65 (63), cf. Buttmann, 24 (22); ( WH's Appendix, p. 157)), ἡ (from  Homer down);  a key. Since the keeper of the keys has the power to open and to shut, the word κλείς is figuratively used in the N. T. to denote power and authority of various kinds (cf.  B. D., under the word ) viz. τοῦ φρέατος, to open or unlock the pit, Revelation 9:1, cf. Revelation 9:2>; τῆς ἀβύσσου, to shut, Revelation 20:1, cf. Revelation 20:3>; τοῦ θανάτου καί τοῦ ᾅδου, the power to bring back into life from Hades and to leave there, Revelation 1:18; τῆς γνώσεως, the ability and opportunity to obtain knowledge, Luke 11:52; τῆς βασιλείας τῶν οὐρανῶν (see βασιλεία, 3e., p. 97b under the end), Matthew 16:19; τοῦ Δαυίδ,  the power of David (who is a type of the Messiah, the second David), i.  e. of receiving into the Messiah's kingdom and of excluding from it, Revelation 3:7 (apparently after Isaiah 22:22, where ἡ κλείς οἴκου Δαυίδ is given to the steward of the royal palace). 
                     Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.

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                                                                    Vocabulary of the Greek NT
                     P Petr II. 39 (d).16 (accounts—iii/B.C.) κλειδοποιῷ τιμὴν κλειδῶν. For acc. sing. κλεῖδα, as in Luke 11:52, cf. P Oxy I. 113.3 (ii/A.D.) ἔπεμψά σοι διὰ Ὡρ ίων ]ο ς ] τὴν κλεῖδα (cf. ib. .16 μὴ δόξῃς με ἠμεληκότα τῆς κλειδός), and for acc. plur. κλεῖδας, as in Matthew 16:19, cf. CP Herm I. 8ii. 5 λαβόντες τὰς κλῖδας τῶν θησ α ]υρῶν, BGU I. 253.18 (iii/A.D.) κλεῖδας ἐπιστήσομαι. On the other hand, for κλεῖν, as in Revelation 3:7; Revelation 20:1, cf. P Oxy VIII. 1127.25 (A.D. 183) κλεῖν μίαν, and for κλεῖς, as in Revelation 1:18, cf. ib. IV. 729.23 (A.D. 137) ἃς ἂν παραλάβωσι θύρας καὶ κλεῖς, ";any doors and keys they may have received,"; a common phrase in leases : cf. P Lond 216.29 (A.D. 94) (= II. p. 187) παραδόσθαι τὸν θ η ]σαυρὸν. . σὺν ταῖς ἐφεστώισαι ς ] θυραῖσι κ (αὶ) κλ εῖ ]σι. See further Mayser Gr. p. 272, Reinhold, p. 51. We can supply no good parallel to the figurative use of κλείς in the NT, but the κλειδὸς πομπή or ἀγωγή in honour of the goddess Hecate is perhaps worth recalling, when a priestess, known as the κλειδοφόρος, carried a golden key, the symbol of Hecate, in the solemn procession at Stratonicea : see Syll 420.14 with the editor’s note, and BCH xi. (1887) p. 36 f. A curious verbal correspondence to our phrase ";having the power of the keys"; may be seen in OGIS 229.56 (iii/B.C.) καὶ ἄρχοντα δὲ ὃν ἂν ἀποστέλληι ὁ δῆμος κυριεύσοντά τε τῶγ κλειδῶν καὶ ἐσόμενον ἐπὶ τῆς φυλακῆς τῆς πόλεως, with reference to the protection of the city of Smyrna. With Luke 11:52 cf. the new fragment of a lost gospel, P Oxy IV.655.41 ff τὴν κλεῖδα τῆς γνώσεως ἐ ]κρύψ ατε · αὐτοὶ οὐκ ] εἰσήλ θατε, καὶ τοῖς ] εἰσερ χομένοις οὐ ]κ ἀν εῴξατε. . .. For the Ionic form κληισ see Michel 594.91 al. (Delos—B.C. 279), and for the dim. κλειδίον see BGU III. 775.5 al (ii/A.D.). The adj. κλειδοποιός occurs in P Oxy XII. 1518.21 (ii/A.D.). MGr κλειδί, ";key.";

Thank you very much. I was sure that there was a logical explanation. A Protestant over the Internet kept insisting that because one was singular and one was plural, there must be a difference.

Great post steve b.

Thanks for all your “homework” and research.

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