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What are these souls?

Submitted: 3/18/2009
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Question: In Revelation 6:9-11, it shows souls under the altar, which were given robes and then told to wait a little season? First these souls were slain, which means dead or sleeping. Second, I do not know how big is the altar or how big are these souls but they were under the altar. Third, they were crying 'holy holy and true', unless they know what they are saying...they couldn't say this. Fourth, a white robes were given to each of them...and to wait till the rest of the brethren were killed. Can you please explain this and what are these souls?

Answer: This passage refers to the believers who have been or will be martyred for their faith in Jesus. They are mentioned again in Revelation 14:13; 18:20, 24; and 20:4. The phrase 'souls under the altar' simply means people who have experienced a sacrificial death for their faith.