Revelation 6:9

New Testament

9 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. 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Master, holy and true, before you judge those who live on the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Each of them was given a long white robe, and they were told to rest for a little longer, until the full number was reached of both their fellow servants and their brothers who were going to be killed just as they had been.

Avot D'Rabbi Natan 12:8


At that time, Moses asked to die as Aaron had died, because he saw the great honor Aaron was given at the funeral procession, with rows and rows of angels eulogizing him. But did he actually say this to someone? No, he just said it to himself. Yet the Holy Blessed One heard his whisper, as it says (Deuteronomy 32:51), “And you will die on the mountain that you go up on, and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor.” From this you learn that he asked to die as Aaron had died.At that time, [God] said to the Angel of Death: Go, bring me the soul of Moses. The Angel of Death went and stood before him, and said: Moses, give me your soul. But he scowled at him [and said: The place I sit, you have no right to even stand – and you ask me to give you my soul? So he scowled at him] and chased him away with a rebuke.The Holy Blessed One said again to the Angel of Death: Go, bring me the soul of Moses.Finally, the Holy Blessed One said to Moses: Moses! You’ve had enough of this world. The World to Come has been prepared for you since the six days of creation. As it says (Exodus 33:22), “God said, here is a place near Me; stand on that rock.” The Holy Blessed One took Moses’ soul and stored it under the Throne of Glory. (As it says [I Samuel 25:29], “And the soul of my master will be bound up in the bond of life.”) And when He took it, He did it with a kiss. As it says (Deuteronomy 34:5), “[Moses died…] by the mouth of God.” And not only Moses’ soul is stored under the Throne of Glory, but also the souls of all the righteous are stored there! As it says (I Samuel 25:29), “[If anyone sets out to pursue you and seek your life], the soul of my master will be bound up in the bond of life.”

 Notes and References

"... In the Hebrew Bible the soul or spirit (nefesh, ruah) of a person, denoting both ‘breath’ and, more generally, ‘life-force’, is understood to be in God’s hands: ‘Into Your hand I entrust my spirit [ruhi]’ (Ps. 31:6); ‘In His hand is every living soul [nefesh kol hai], and the breath [ruah] of all mankind’ (Job 12:10). In later Jewish thought, in concert with belief in the continued existence of the soul after death, individual souls were often said to reside in a ‘treasury’ or ‘store-room’ (otsar) which is in proximity to, or ‘with’, God, as in the following midrashic comment on the phrase elohei haruhhot lekhol basar in Numbers 27:16 ..."

Mandel, Paul The Sacrifice of the Souls of the Righteous upon the Heavenly Altar: Transformations of Apocalyptic Traditions in Medieval Ashkenaz (pp. 49-72) Liverpool University Press, 2018

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