Abraham's Bosom -- A Question

A querist asks, “In Luke 16:22 ASV, the text states that Lazarus ‘was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.’ My question is, What does the expression ‘Abraham’s bosom’ refer to?”

This expression can be best explained from the text of John 13:1-30 ASV where we find Jesus participating in the last supper with His disciples before His arrest and ensuing trial.

In John 13:23 ASV, the text states:

There was at the table reclining in Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved.

In ancient times, tables were placed close to the floor and guests “reclined” on couches placed around the table. If an individual (in this instance, John the apostle) reclined close to the host (in this instance, Jesus’ bosom), it was an indication that he was an honored guest — one who maintained an intimate relationship with the host. Thus that individual was said to be “in the bosom” of the host (e.g., John 1:18 ASV).

Therefore, figuratively speaking, the expression “Abraham’s bosom” used in Luke 16:22 ASV refers to a place of blessedness or honor with another, as Lazarus experienced with Abraham in paradise.

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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