8 I looked; and behold, there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades accompanied him. Together they were granted authority over one-fourth of the earth to kill with weapons, with famine, with disease, and with wild animals that roamed the earth.
The breaking of the seals releases the four riders and a series of disasters and plagues. Even though what follows appears to be extreme violence unleashed against the earth and its inhabitants, there is a limitation to what follows. Death and Hades have the authority to kill, but their authority extends only to one-fourth of the earth. The slaughtered souls cry out for vengeance, but they will have to wait a little longer until more martyrs are killed for their testimony.
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the heavenly altar the souls of those murdered for holding fast to the word of God and their testimony. 10 They cried out in a great, singular voice.
Murder Victims: How much longer, O Lord, the holy One, the true One, until You pronounce judgment on the inhabitants of the earth? Until You avenge our blood?