- so here is the answer.
Revelation 6:9-11 speaks of "Souls under the altar."
9And 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: 10And 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? 11And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
How can you get underneath an altar and how does this demonstrate that the writer had an intimate knowledge of the Second Temple in Jerusalem?
|The Dome of the Rock covering the|
summit of Mount Moriah
This large rock summit, measuring approximately fifty feet by sixty feet is now covered by the "Dome of the Rock" mosque. It is the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the history of the world.
This rock is believed to have been the place where Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac (Genesis 22: 1 - 2.)
|The "Foundation Stone" rock inside is|
believed to have been the foundation of
the altar in both the First and
It is believed to be the location of the altar in both the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem.
The rock would have been covered by a large brazen construction. But the rock was the foundation. Hence the name "Foundation Stone. It was a natural stone altar.
|The "Well of Souls" cave underneath|
the temple rock altar where the souls of
Revelation 6 cried out for vengeance
A hewn channel is carved in the roof and a shaft leads up to the top of the altar. The blood from the sacrificed animals flowed off the altar down this channel and was collected in vats by priests who carried it away from the site up a set of hewn rock stairs.
This was sacrifice on an industrial scale.
The "Souls under the altar" of Revelation 6: 9-11 must refer to this cave; the "Well of Souls."
The Hebrew word for "soul" is "Nephesh." It can be translated "Soul" or "Life."
Leviticus 17:11 says "The life (Nephesh) of the flesh is in the blood."
Therefore when those souls in Revelation cry out "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood." John must be seeing in a vision the blood of the martyrs (souls) pooled inside the Well of Souls cave UNDER the altar of the Second temple in Jerusalem.
The writer of Revelation must have seen that cave. He must have seen the blood. He must have stood where I stood in 1972.
This interpretation means that the blood from countless thousands of animals slain as burnt offerings to God, in both the First and second temples, flowed into that cave. Their "Nephesh" (life) (souls) may still be there.
Is that what makes Jerusalem sacred?
Now isn't that a spooky thought for an Atheist to think? :)