Contents | Index

Abraham's bosom


"Abraham's bosom" was an expression in the oral traditions of the Jewish Rabbi's for the state of bliss after death.

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. Jesus, accommodating His speech to the Jews, describes the condition of Lazarus after death by this figure (Luke 16:22-23).

Father Abraham was, to the Israelites, in the corrupt times of their later superstitions, almost what the virgin Mary is to the Roman church. He was constantly invoked as though he could hear the prayers of his descendants, wherever they were; and he was pictured standing at the gate of paradise to receive and embrace his children as they entered, and the whole family of his faithful descendants was gathered to his arms.