There are two biblical mentions of The Key Of David.
One of them is found in the 22nd chapter of Isaiah:
Thus says the Lord GOD of hosts:
“Go, proceed to this steward,
To Shebna, who is over the house, and say:
‘What have you here, and whom have you here,
That you have hewn a sepulcher here,
As he who hews himself a sepulcher on high,
Who carves a tomb for himself in a rock?
Indeed, the LORD will throw you away violently,
O mighty man,
And will surely seize you.
He will surely turn violently and toss you like a ball
Into a large country;
There you shall die, and there your glorious chariots
Shall be the shame of your master’s house.
So I will drive you out of your office,
And from your position he will pull you down.
‘Then it shall be in that day,
That I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe
And strengthen him with your belt;
I will commit your responsibility into his hand.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem
And to the house of Judah.
The key of the house of David
I will lay on his shoulder;
So he shall open, and no one shall shut;
And he shall shut, and no one shall open.
I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place,
And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house.
ISAIAH 22:15-23 NKJV
This story highlights how God sees the contrast in human leadership between self-serving leaders and those with a fathering heart.
Shebna is called a treasurer (KJV) which implies he is fixated with the financial benefits he can accrue as a leader. It is interesting that Judas Iscariot was also a treasurer. Shebna’s role was a comptroller role, overseeing the fiscal aspects of the palace. Shebna also appears to have been the leader of the party who favoured an alliance with Egypt against Assyria, according to Wikipedia.
Shebna apparently had himself a tomb carved from solid rock, which was a custom usually reserved for royalty. It’s interesting that Shebna had a fixation with death. Leaders who are not aligned with God’s Throne and purpose can only bring death to people.
The contrast, then, is between leaders who are dead and those who are alive. This reminds us that leaders who don’t know God cannot bring life to people.
Eliakim is called a father to the nation. It is vital that leaders take the role of fathers and mothers to those they lead. The Key Of David requires such leaders.
It’s important to note that God calls Eliakim “My servant.” God always has people to fulfil leadership roles. These are people He has prepared, often in obscurity and hiddenness. First and foremost, these leaders are God’s servants before they are servants of others. Serving God first, they qualify to be leaders of other people.
Leading in the Kingdom is being the servant of others. This is why fathers and shepherds are powerful examples of what God deems essential in leaders – they give their lives for those in their care.
Let’s look at this passage in the Passion Translation:-
This is what the Lord Yahweh, the Commander of Angel Armies, has to say:
“Go to Shebna, the treasurer of the palace, and say to him, ‘What right do you have to be here, and who gave you permission? And why do you chisel out a tomb for yourself here, carving out your royal burial place, a dwelling place in the rock? Watch out, O strong man, for the Lord is about to seize you and hurl you down. He will sling you around and around and throw you like a ball into a distant, barren land. There you will die, and all your splendid chariots will lie there in the dust. You are a disgrace to your master’s house! I will kick you out of office and pull you down from your high position!’
“On that day, I will appoint my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, to take your place. I will honor him by clothing him with your robe and binding your priestly sash upon him. I will transfer your authority into his hands, and he will be a father to those living in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. I will place upon his shoulders the key to the treasures of David’s palace. He will open doors that no one can shut, and he will shut doors that no one can open. I will strike a blow to him as a nail in a secure place, and he will be a glorious throne of honor for his father’s house. All the glory of his father’s house they will fasten to him, including offspring and branches that will trust in him. Every vessel, jar, and bowl, both small and great, will be fastened to him.
ISAIAH 22:15-24 The Passion Translation
Notice a few things here. Firstly, the Lord addresses Shebna by stating His title and authority as the Lord Yahweh, the Commander of Angel Armies. This reminds us that authority is delegated.
Then Shebna is asked: “What right do you have to be here, and who gave you permission?” Leaders may be in position but that does not mean they have God’s endorsement.
Shebna was not given the Key of David by the Lord, even though he may have actually had it in his possession. You can be in the office, have the title and your name on the door but if God has not promoted you, you have no foundation to your leadership.
Shebna, as the king’s chamberlain, had the master key to the palace and some scholars believe this was displayed on the shoulder or breast of the chamberlain to signify his position as the king’s right hand man and first minister of state. This key may have been a real master key that opened the doors of the departments in the royal chambers.
If you have ever watched Game of Thrones you will be familiar with the office of “The Hand” which is the right hand man of the king in King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros. This official has a large brooch on his shoulder; interestingly, the left shoulder as this would be where the king’s hand would rest on his “right hand man.”
This is a similar idea to the office that Shebna was deposed from in favour of Eliakim.
God is looking for Eliakims today. We don’t need mercenaries or hirelings in any office, whether it be church ministry or ministries of state. Although Eliakim functioned in the House of David – which is heaven’s throne on earth – he serves as a great biblical model for those who would penetrate the 7 Mountains and exercise a leadership role. Eliakim leadership is being a father to people who need it.
Notice that Eliakim is given power to open and shut doors. Eliakim ministry is ministry which can shut off things that are unproductive and release things that are creative and that produce life.
Eliakim received the Key of the House of David on his shoulder. Remember it was said of Jesus that the government would be upon His shoulder. There are some things about the shoulder to consider.
Firstly, the shoulder is a metaphor for both strength and responsibility. We say of people that they shoulder things well, meaning they are capable, responsible people. Another thing about the shoulder is it denotes application. No lazy person should ever be given a leadership role.
If you are called to leadership, you need to be a determined and disciplined person who doesn’t shirk work. Diligence is vital. That doesn’t mean hard work, however. Hard work is for fools. Diligence is labour applied through wisdom. Leaders know when to apply energy and when to conserve it. Yet they are always ready to do what needs to be done. They are always at their post of duty.
As a 21st century Eliakim, you are called to be proficient in the implementation of the Key of David. This Key is important to the last days Philadelphia Church (see Revelation 3:7-13). Governmental authority is being released to the Body of Christ in these times. More specifically, it is being released to overcomers.
Overcomers are those who have learned to walk in their kingly or queenly role.
Some interesting insights from The Passion Translation footnotes:
Regarding the word for treasurer:
The meaning of the Hebrew word sōk̠ēn (a hapax legomenon) is uncertain, although most scholars view it as a word for a high government official in Hezekiah’s court, like a comptroller or perhaps a treasurer. In 2 Kings 18:18 Shebna is mentioned as the king’s scribe or secretary. The name Shebna means “one who rests himself” or “one who is captive.” Shebna becomes a picture of the Adam-life (the spirit of anti-Christ) that seeks self-promotion. But God will replace our “Shebna” with Eliakim (the Christ-life within us). This principle of replacement is found throughout the Scriptures (Isaac for Ishmael, David for Saul, Esther for Vashti, Samuel for Eli, Matthias for Judas, etc.).
Eliakim means “raised up by God,” and he becomes a picture of the Lord Jesus, who was raised up by the power of God to rule over God’s house. It is possible that Eliakim was the high priest. The Hebrew text uses priestly terms for his clothing and sash. See Rev. 1:13.