Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Philadelpheia (3.7–13)


‘And write to the angel of the assembly in Philadelpheia:

The holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, the one who opens and no one will shut and who shuts and no one will open, says this:

I know your works. See, I have put an open door in front of you which no one can shut, because you have little power but have kept my word and have not denied my name. See, I compel those from the synagogue of the satan—those who claim to be Judeans and are not, but lie—see, I will make them come and worship in front of your feet and they will know that I have loved you. Because you have kept the word of my endurance, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation which is about to come on the whole world, to tempt the ones who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Grasp what you have so that no one may take your laurel.

Whoever conquers, I will make him a pillar in my god’s temple and he will not go out anymore. And I will write on him my god’s name and the name of my god’s city, the new Jerusalem—which comes out of heaven from my god—and my new name. Whoever has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the assemblies.’


Jesus is identified to each assembly by attributes taken from chapter 1, generally in reverse order. Each selected attribute seems intended to tie into the message given to that particular assembly, though the meaning is not always clear. Jesus has the ‘key of David’ with which he can ‘open’ and ‘shut’. He informs the assembly he has opened a door for them.



22.22 I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open.

60.14 The descendants of those who oppressed you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of Yhwh, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

Dead Sea Scrolls

CD 1 And he made known to the latter generations that which God had done to the latter generation, the congregation of traitors, to those who departed from the way.

1QS 5 They shall separate from the congregation of the men of injustice

1QH 10 For they, an assembly of deceit, and a congregation of Belial, know not that my stand is maintained by you, and that in your mercy you will save my soul since my steps proceed from you.

1 Corinthians

6.16 For we are the temple of the living God


4.26 But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother.


4.9 And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’


13.16 ‘But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.’

16.19 ‘I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’

18.18 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’


11.10, 16 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. […] But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their god; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

12.22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem

4 Ezra

7.26 For indeed the time will come, when the signs that I have foretold to you will come to pass, that the city that now is not seen shall appear, and the land that now is hidden shall be disclosed.

2 Baruch

4.2, 3, 6 Or do you think that this is the city of which I said, ‘On the palms of my hands I have carved you’? […] it is that which will be revealed, with me […] Behold, now it is preserved with me, along with the garden.

Odes of Solomon

17.9 And from there he gave me the way of his paths, and I opened the doors which were closed.

1 Timothy

3.15 you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the assembly of the living God

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