Revelation 6:9
New International Version
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

New Living Translation
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony.

English Standard Version
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.

Berean Study Bible
And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld.

Berean Literal Bible
And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those having been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had upheld.

New American Standard Bible
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

King James Bible
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Christian Standard Bible
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony they had given.

Contemporary English Version
When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of everyone who had been killed for speaking God's message and telling about their faith.

Good News Translation
Then the Lamb broke open the fifth seal. I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed because they had proclaimed God's word and had been faithful in their witnessing.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the people slaughtered because of God's word and the testimony they had.

International Standard Version
When the lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the word of God and the testimony they had given.

NET Bible
Now when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been violently killed because of the word of God and because of the testimony they had given.

New Heart English Bible
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of people who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they had.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been murdered for the word of God and for the testimony of Yeshua which they had.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of God's word and the testimony they had given about him.

New American Standard 1977
And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those that had been slain because of the word of God and for the testimony which they held:

King James 2000 Bible
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

American King James Version
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

American Standard Version
And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.

Darby Bible Translation
And when it opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held;

English Revised Version
And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

Weymouth New Testament
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw at the foot of the altar the souls of those whose lives had been sacrificed because of the word of God and of the testimony which they had given.

World English Bible
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had.

Young's Literal Translation
And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony that they held,
Study Bible
The Fifth Seal: The Martyrs
8Then I looked and saw a pale horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed close behind. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill by sword, by famine, by plague, and by the beasts of the earth. 9And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. 10And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?”…
Cross References
Genesis 4:10
"What have you done?" replied the LORD. "The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.

Exodus 29:12
Take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar.

Leviticus 4:7
The priest must then apply some of the blood to the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. And he is to pour out the rest of the bull's blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

John 16:2
They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

Hebrews 12:23
in joyful assembly, to the congregation of the firstborn, enrolled in heaven. You have come to God the judge of all men, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,

Revelation 1:2
who testifies to everything he saw. This is the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:9
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance that are in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and my testimony about Jesus.

Revelation 8:3
Then another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.

Revelation 12:11
They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.

Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

Revelation 14:18
Still another angel, with authority over the fire, came from the altar and called out in a loud voice to the angel with the sharp sickle, "Swing your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth, because its grapes are ripe."

Revelation 16:7
And I heard the altar reply: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."

Revelation 20:4
Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Treasury of Scripture

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

I saw.

Revelation 8:3
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 9:13
And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Revelation 14:18
And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

the souls.

Revelation 20:4
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:23
For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

slain.

Revelation 1:9
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:13
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

Revelation 11:3-7
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth…







Lexicon
And
Καὶ (Kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

when
ὅτε (hote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3753: When, at which time. From hos and te; at which too, i.e. When.

[the Lamb] opened
ἤνοιξεν (ēnoixen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 455: To open. From ana and oigo; to open up.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

fifth
πέμπτην (pemptēn)
Adjective - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3991: The fifth. From pente; fifth.

seal,
σφραγῖδα (sphragida)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4973: Probably strengthened from phrasso; a signet; by implication, the stamp impressed, literally or figuratively.

I saw
εἶδον (eidon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

under
ὑποκάτω (hypokatō)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 5270: Underneath, below, under. From hupo and kato; down under, i.e. Beneath.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

altar
θυσιαστηρίου (thysiastēriou)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2379: An altar (for sacrifice). From a derivative of thusia; a place of sacrifice, i.e. An altar.

the
τὰς (tas)
Article - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

souls
ψυχὰς (psychas)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5590: From psucho; breath, i.e. spirit, abstractly or concretely.

of those who
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

had been slain
ἐσφαγμένων (esphagmenōn)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4969: To slay, kill by violence, slaughter, wound mortally. A primary verb; to butcher or to slaughter, or, to maim.

for
διὰ (dia)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

word
λόγον (logon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3056: From lego; something said; by implication, a topic, also reasoning or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, the Divine Expression.

of God
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

for
διὰ (dia)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1223: A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

testimony
μαρτυρίαν (martyrian)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3141: Witness, evidence, testimony, reputation. From martus; evidence given.

they had upheld.
εἶχον (eichon)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 2192: To have, hold, possess. Including an alternate form scheo skheh'-o; a primary verb; to hold.
(9-11) The fifth seal differs from the four earlier seals. It is not introduced by the voice of the living beings, and the cry "Come." The voice which is now heard is not the cry of the groaning world, but of the oppressed and troubled Church. In the fourth seal the climax of world-sorrow seemed to be reached in the accumulation of war, famine, pestilence, and noisome beasts. It declared to the evangelist that there were evils which would continue and even increase in the world. "Ye shall hear of wars; nation shall rise against nation." Social troubles, war, poverty, and privation would still exist; religious troubles, evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse. Worldly policy, selfishness, and the untamed passions of mankind would still trouble humanity. Then if such troubles and disorders remain, what has the Church been doing? Where is the promise of that early vision of victory? The answer is given in the fifth seal. The Church has been following her Lord. As the vision of Bethlehem and the angel-song of "peace on earth" passed, and made way for the agony of Gethsemane, the cross of Calvary, and the cry "My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" so the glowing dream of a quick conquest over all evil passes away, and the picture of an agonising, persecuted Church takes its place, and the voice of its anguish is heard, "How long, O Lord!" The Church has her Bethlehem, her Nazareth, her Gethsemane, her Calvary, her Easter morn; for Christ said, "Where I am there shall also My servant be" (John 12:26). The seals, then, are not merely visions of war, famine, &c., they are the tokens that the victory of Christ's Church must, like her Lord's, be a victory through apparent failure and certain death. The four seals proclaim her apparent failure; she has not brought peace and social and political harmony to the world. The fifth seal shows her suffering, the witness of the servants of Christ has been rejected; in the world they have tribulation (John 16:33).

(9) I saw under the altar . . .--Read, when He opened, and, instead of "were slain," &c., had been slain because of the Word of God, and (because of) the testimony which they held. The seal indicates that the mission of the Christian Church can only be carried out in suffering. An altar is seen, and at its foot tokens of the martyrs who had laid down their lives upon it. The word "souls" is to be taken as the equivalent of "lives"; the vision tells that their lives had been sacrificed. The blood of the victims was in the temple service poured out at the foot of the altar. St. Paul makes use of the same imagery--"I am now ready to be poured out" ("offered" in English version). In union with Christ Christians are called upon to suffer with Him, even to carry on to its great end the work of Christ in the world, and so fill up that which is lacking of the sufferings of Christ (Colossians 1:24). The word "souls" has been made a resting-place for an argument respecting the intermediate state. There is no ground for this: it is quite beside the object of the seal, which simply exhibits the sufferings of Christ's people as the necessary accompaniment of the progress of the gospel. These sufferings are because of the Word of God and the testimony which they held. It was because of the Word of God and the testimony that the sacred seer himself suffered (Revelation 1:9). The words here remind us that the same issue which St. John fought, the suffering ones of after ages would be fighting. Their witness and his was the God-man; to this testimony they clung. They were not ashamed of Christ, or of His words, and they suffered for their courage and fidelity.

Verse 9. - And when he had opened the fifth seal; and when he opened, as in vers. l, 3, 5, 7, which see. The second group of visions connected with the opening of the seals now commences. The first group deals with events more immediately attached to this life. By the visions of the first four seals St. John has shown that it is with God's knowledge and consent that afflictions and persecutions are allowed to try the faith of his servants on earth; while yet the ultimate triumph of those who endure is certain. In the last three appearances he goes a step further - he gives his readers a glimpse of events more immediately connected with the life in the world to come. He shows them

(1) the faithful, resting from their labours, though longing, in sympathy with those left on earth, for the completion of Christ's triumph;

(2) the circumstances attendant upon our Lord's final coming, which he describes in language which is almost a repetition of Christ's words on the same subject;

(3) the inexplicable life with God in heaven, which is denoted by the silence following the opening of the last seal. I saw under the altar. This representation is doubtless suggested by the arrangements of the temple. Victims were sacrificed on the brazen altar which stood at the door of the tabernacle (Exodus 39:39 and Exodus 40:29), and the blood was poured out at the foot of this altar (Leviticus 4:7). The martyrs are therefore regarded as having offered themselves as sacrifices upon the altar of God by yielding up their lives for him. St. Paul uses a similar figure concerning himself. In 2 Timothy 4:6 he says, "For I am now ready to be offered ['to pour out as a libation,' σπένδω], and the time of any departure is at hand;" and in Philippians 2:17, "If I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith." Bleek and De Wette understand the golden altar of incense (Exodus 30:1), and consider that the figure is representative of the hearing of the martyrs' prayers. Bossuet says the altar is Christ. The souls of them that wore slain; them that had been slain. An "aesthetical difficulty" (see on Revelation 4:6). How could St. John see the souls? Of course, he did not see them with his bodily vision, nor indeed did he thus see any part of the revelation. He "sees" them while "in the Spirit," i.e. he is somehow made conscious of the existence of the souls. Slain; σφάττω, "sacrificed;" the same word used of the Lamb in Revelation 5:6. The word is in harmony with the use of the word" altar," with which it is naturally connected. It fixes the signification of the altar, which therefore cannot bear the meaning ascribed by Block and De Wette, as mentioned above. St. John sees the souls only of the martyrs, since their bodies will not be reunited with their souls until the judgment day. Meanwhile, the souls rest (see ver. 11) in peace, yet in expectation of the final accomplishment of their perfect bliss, which the words used in ver. 10 show them to desire. Wordsworth quotes (as illustrating this passage) Tertullian, "The souls of martyrs repose in peace under the altar, and cherish a spirit of patience until others are admitted to fill up their communion of glow;" and Irenaeus, "The souls of the departed go to the place assigned them by God, and there abide until the resurrection, when they will be reunited to their bodies; and then the saints, both in soul and body, will come into the presence of God." For the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held. B, Syriac, add, "and of the Lamb." On account of the word, etc. Exactly the same expression which St. John uses in Revelation 1:9 in describing the cause of his own exile at Patmos. The language is peculiarly St. John's (cf. Revelation 1:2, "John: who bare record of the Word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw;" also Revelation 12:17, "The dragon... went to make war with... them which have the testimony of Jesus Christ;" also Revelation 19:10, "I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' The "Word of God" is of course the truth which God has declared, not the Word as in John 1. "The testimony which they held" may differ slightly in signification in different places. It may mean

(1) the testimony or truth which Christ has imparted to Christians; or

(2) the active showing forth of the Christian faith by word or deed. The latter is evidently the meaning here, since for this active manifestation of Christianity they whose souls St. John now sees in glory had been slain, which would not have occurred had they merely received the Word of God without showing it outwardly (cf. Revelation 1:2). 6:9-11 The sight the apostle beheld at the opening the fifth seal was very affecting. He saw the souls of the martyrs under the altar; at the foot of the altar in heaven, at the feet of Christ. Persecutors can only kill the body; after that there is no more they can do; the soul lives. God has provided a good place in the better world, for those who are faithful unto death. It is not their own death, but the sacrifice of Christ, that gives them entrance into heaven. The cause in which they suffered, was for the word of God; the best any man can lay down his life for; faith in God's word, and the unshaken confession of that faith. They commit their cause to Him to whom vengeance belongs. The Lord is the comforter of his afflicted servants, and precious is their blood in his sight. As the measure of the sin of persecutors is filling up, so is the number of the persecuted, martyred servants of Christ. When this is fulfilled, God will send tribulation to those who trouble them, and unbroken happiness and rest to those that are troubled.
Jump to Previous
Altar Borne Broke Death Fifth Foot Held Killed Lamb Opened Sacrificed Seal Slain Souls Stamp Testimony Underneath Undone Witness Word
Jump to Next
Altar Borne Broke Death Fifth Foot Held Killed Lamb Opened Sacrificed Seal Slain Souls Stamp Testimony Underneath Undone Witness Word
Links
Revelation 6:9 NIV
Revelation 6:9 NLT
Revelation 6:9 ESV
Revelation 6:9 NASB
Revelation 6:9 KJV

Revelation 6:9 Bible Apps
Revelation 6:9 Biblia Paralela
Revelation 6:9 Chinese Bible
Revelation 6:9 French Bible
Revelation 6:9 German Bible

Alphabetical: altar and because been broke fifth God had he I Lamb maintained of opened saw seal slain souls testimony the they those under underneath When which who word

NT Prophecy: Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal (Rev. Re Apocalypse) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Revelation 6:8
Top of Page
Top of Page