Revelation 6:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 6:10, NIV: "They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?'"

Revelation 6:10, ESV: "They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”"

Revelation 6:10, KJV: "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"

Revelation 6:10, NASB: "and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who live on the earth?'"

Revelation 6:10, NLT: "They shouted to the Lord and said, 'O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?'"

Revelation 6:10, CSB: "They cried out with a loud voice: "Lord, the one who is holy and true, how long until you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?""

What does Revelation 6:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The prior verse mentioned souls who had been slain for their witness of the Word of God. According to this verse, the souls under the altar cry out for vengeance. They ask God how long it will be before He judges and takes vengeance on those who shed the martyrs' blood.

Their prayer may be classified as an imprecatory prayer, a prayer that calls for vengeance. This kind of prayer is recorded in Scriptures such as 2 Chronicles 24:22; Psalms 54:5; 68:22–23; 79:6; and 143:12. This connection, and chapter 7's description of believers "sealed" by God, suggests these martyrs are Jewish believers converted during the time of the tribulation, not present-era Christians. Believers of the present, the "church age," are told to respond to maltreatment with kindness. When Stephen, a church-age believer, was being martyred, he exemplified the manner in which Christians ought to respond to maltreatment. He cried out loudly, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." (Acts 7:60).

The souls under the altar recognize God's absolute right to have allowed their martyrdom. They address him as "Sovereign." They also attest to His holy character. Being holy, God cannot commit any wrongdoing. Therefore, God did nothing wrong in allowing their martyrdom. Further, they address God as "true," literally, "perfect." He did not, nor could He, make any mistake in allowing these tribulation believers to be martyred.