What Exactly Is The Bosom Of Abraham Spoken Of At Luke 16:19-31?

I have heard different explanations for it. Can you use scripture to explain exactly what it is and where it is?


Thanks, Chris. Can you help me out with scriptures? Can you direct me to some in the Bible that would substantiate that explanation?

13 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Actually in ancient Greek, I believe it's better translated "side". Some biblical versions have side instead of "bosom".

    Note: Abraham's bosom was also a term for paradise for many Jews at the time. It was the closest idea of heaven they had. But this isn't a view that was held by all Jews of the time, nor is it held now. So the terminology would probably be intended for the Jews at the time.

  • 1 decade ago

    This is what the Pharisees taught (God's abomination).

    (v22) The Pharisees taught that there were three sets of angels for wicked men; and others for good men.

    (v22) The Pharisees taught that there were three places:

    1) Abraham's bosom.

    2) "under the throne of glory"

    3) in the garden of Eden (Paradise).

    Speaking of death, they would say "this day he sits in Abraham's bosom".

    (v23) The Pharisees taught that in life two men may be "coupled together", and one sees the other after death, and conversations take place.

    (v24) The Pharisees gave long stories of similar imaginary conversations and discourses.

    (v31) The Lord's words were proven to be true, by the results of the resurrection of another Lazarus (John 12:9) and of Himself (Matt. 28: 11-13).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    jude 1:6 where were these angels who fell kept?

    1 peter 4:6 the gospel preached to the dead

    was the gospel preached int he bosom of abraham during the three days before the resurrection?

    1 peter 3:19-20 spirit prison

  • 1 decade ago

    In Jesus’ illustration, Lazarus’ being in the bosom position of Abraham indicates that he was in a position of favor. This figure of speech is drawn from the practice of reclining at meals in such a way that one could lean back on the bosom of a friend. Consider John 13:23-25: "There was reclining in front of Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, and Jesus loved him. Therefore Simon Peter nodded to this one and said to him: “Tell who it is about whom he is saying [it].” So the latter leaned back upon the breast of Jesus and said to him: “Lord, who is it? These scriptures show that the apostle John was in a most favored position with Jesus that the other apostles did not share.

    BTW, Jesus' illustration of the rich man and Lazarus is not to be taken literally.

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  • gina
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The begger Lazarus represented the common Jewish people who repented and became followers of Jesus. The formerly despised ones came into a position of devine favor, and the former seemingly favored ones (rich and haughty) were rejected by god while being tormented by the judgement messages delivered by the ones (poor ones who followed Jesus) whom they had despised.

    Their deaths were also symbolic, representing a change in circumstances.This is a parable, or story form, it is not literal ,without reference to any historical personage. If taken literal, it would mean that those in enjoying devine favor could all fit in the bossom of Abraham that the water on one's fingertip would not be evaporated by the fires of hell; that a mere drop of water would bring relief to one suffering there. This would conflict with other parts of the bible and therefore would not be reasonable. The bible does not contradict itself.

  • 1 decade ago

    In first century Israel, when people ate a meal, they did so lying down and on their sides. The Jewish culture was very much concerned with rank and position. If someone of prominence was reclining, it was considered a great privilege to recline at that person's "bosom position," that is, lying down next to them to the right. This is brought out in John 13:23-25, where the apostle John the disciple "Jesus loved," was in Jesus' bosom position during the Lord's Evening Meal. Also, Jesus himself is referred to being in the bosom position of God in John 1:18.

    The "bosom position" represents a position of great favor. Abraham often represents God in the Bible. Therefore Lazarus - who represented meek and humble ones - attained a favor position with God, whereas the rich man - who represented the Jewish religious leaders - fell out of favor with God.

  • 1 decade ago

    You’re going to get a variety of explanations about the afterlife, but this section is a parable {a parable is an extended simile using like or as}

    Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in light of their beliefs with this parable - it's not a real place

  • 1 decade ago

    it is referring to the dinner table. because in ancient israel (as well as throughout the orient) the tables were low to the ground and everyone sat on a cushion and inclined on one another, i.e. the person to your left would lean back onto your bosom. but this passage in luke is just an illustration of what heaven is like. Jesus Christ said behold I stand at the door and knock if any man open it I will enter in and sup with him and he with Me. in heaven, there is a family table with all of the children of God gathered there. often Jesus said come and dine with Me, because there is nothing more intimate than watching a person ingest food.

  • 1 decade ago

    A Bosom is a place of intimacy (relationship).

    To be "in Abraham's Bosom" is speaking of one who has a divine relationship with their Creator.

    Here are some places that reveal it is a place of "intimate relationship"

    Numbers 11:12

    Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

    Jeremiah 32:18

    Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,

    Ruth 4:16

    And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

    John 1:18

    No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

    John 13:23

    Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Before the cross, everyone who died went to Hades, called Sheol in Hebrew. There they went to one of two places. One was called Paradise or Abraham’s bosom. It was a place of comfort where those who died in faith of a coming Redeemer went. The other place is called Torments and it’s where unbelievers go to await their final judgment. This is all described in Luke 16:19-31, the Story of the Rich man and Lazarus. Jesus promised one of the men being crucified with Him that they’d go to Paradise together that day. (Luke 23:43)

    After Jesus rose again He ascended into Heaven and took those from Paradise with Him. From then on every believer who dies goes straight to Heaven to be with Jesus, but unbelievers still go to Torments. In Rev. 20:11-15 we see the Great White Throne judgment where unbelievers will be resurrected to face their judgment and final disposition. This will happen at the end of the Millennium. Verse 13 says that Hades will give up its dead, meaning that unbelievers from all ages who’ve been waiting there will finally be sent to their eternal punishment.

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