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Abraham’s bosom
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A term Christ uses to refer to a place for the spirits of the righteous dead (Luke 16:22, 23). He uses it in the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man—the rich man goes to Hades, and Lazarus goes to Abraham’s bosom.The image is taken from the ancient practice of reclining at table (see John 21:20). The Old Testament used the expression “to be gathered to one’s people (or fathers)” (see Gen 25:8; 49:33; Judg 2:10; 2 Kgs 22:20). All individuals—just or unjust—could be “gathered to their people.”It is not possible to exactly determine what Christ meant—he uses this expression only in a single parable. The language he uses to describe His “Father’s house” seems to indicate a different reality (see John 14:2). Abraham’s bosom may be the same as the “Paradise” mentioned in Luke 23:43.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Abraham’s Bosom
Abraham’s Bosom (Ἀβραάμ κόλπον, Abraam kolpon). A term Christ uses to refer to a place for the spirits of the righteous dead (Luke 16:22, 23). He uses it in the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man—the rich man goes to Hades, and Lazarus goes to Abraham’s bosom.The image is taken from the ancient practice
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Abraham’s Bosom
Abraham’s Bosom. Figure of speech probably derived from the Roman custom of reclining on one’s left side at meals with the guest of honor at the bosom of his host (cf. Jn 13:25). It was used by Jesus in the story of Lazarus as a description of paradise (Lk 16:22, 23). In rabbinical writings as well as
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Abraham’s Bosom
Abraham’s Bosom [Gk. kólpos Abraam]; NEB “with Abraham,” “close beside him.” The expression occurs in Lk. 16:22f, in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, to denote the place of repose to which Lazarus was carried after his death. The figure is suggested by the practice of the guest at a feast reclining
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Abraham's Bosom
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. This figurative phrase depicts the blessedness of the believer in paradise following death. Although used in rabbinic Judaism, the only scriptural occurrence of this expression is in Christ’s parable of the rich man Lazarus (Lk 16:19 ff.). At his death Lazarus the beggar is carried by
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Abraham’s Bosom
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. A figure of speech used by Jesus in the parable of *Lazarus and Dives (Lk. 16:22–23), illustrating ‘the great gulf fixed’ between the bliss of paradise and the misery of Hades (cf. Mt. 8:11–12). The dead Lazarus is portrayed as reclining next to Abraham at the feast of the blessed, after
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Abraham’s Bosom
Abraham’s Bosom [Gk. kólpos Abraám]. The place to which the angels carried Lazarus at his death (Luke 16:22; NIV “Abraham’s side”). The reference may be to the place next to Abraham at the banquet for the righteous in the world to come (cf. Midrash Exod. 16:4; Matt. 8:11; and the similar phraseology
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Abraham’s Bosom
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM Also “Abraham’s embrace.” In Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:22), Abraham’s bosom is a resting place for the righteous dead, separated from the sufferings of the unrighteous dead. In Jesus’s time, it was usual for diners to recline on couches at table. Normally, guests
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Abraham's Bosom
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM. The phrase “to be in one’s bosom” applies to the person who so reclines at the table that his head is brought almost into the bosom of the one sitting next above him. To be in Abraham’s bosom signified to occupy the seat next to Abraham, i.e., to enjoy felicity with Abraham. Jesus, accommodating
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Abraham's bosom
Abraham’s bosom(Luke 16:22, 23) refers to the custom of reclining on couches at table, which was prevalent among the Jews, an arrangement which brought the head of one person almost into the bosom of the one who sat or reclined above him. To “be in Abraham’s bosom” thus meant to enjoy happiness and
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Abraham's Bosom
Abraham’s BosomAbraham’s bosom, a metaphor in Jesus’ parable about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31). To be in or at someone’s bosom means to recline to the right of the host (the place of honor) at a meal (cf. John 13:23). Various ideas and images were current in Jesus’ time to describe the
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Abraham's Bosom
ABRAHAM’S BOSOM — a figure of speech for the life hereafter. According to the Old Testament, when a person died he went to “be with his fathers” (Gen. 15:15; 47:30; Deut. 31:16; Judg. 2:10). The patriarch Abraham was regarded as the “father” of the Jews (Luke 3:8; John 8:37–40). At death, therefore,
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery
Abraham's Bosom
Abraham’s BosomThe term bosom (sometimes also rendered “lap” or “side”) translates several Hebrew words and one Greek word. In most cases in both languages the image connoted is of a warm, secure place in which one lies or is carried (e.g., Num 11:12; Ruth 4:16; Is 40:11; 49:22; Mic 7:5; Jn 1:18; 13:23).
Key passages
Lk 16:22

Now it happened that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s side. And the rich man also died and was buried.