A temporary holding place for OT believers until Christ actually paid for their sins on the cross. The key concept here is fellowship, good fellowship with family. This brotherly fellowship is an element of heaven, and this place is a part of Sheol (Seol), the place of the dead. This “chamber” of Sheol is for those who are saved, believing in the Messiah before he came. Christ went to this place to preach (announce) the good news of their salvation (the details) and then carry them up to heaven in the resurrection, but first a brief stop off on earth again.
This is a place of repose, on the father´s chest, where the child is safe. This was where John reposed on Jesus´chest.
In Lu 16:22, Lazarus is said to have been carried to Abraham’s bosom, that is, to the state of bliss in paradise which the father of the faithful was enjoying. This is often represented by a feast, by sitting down to a banquet, Mt 8:11 Lu 13:29. To lie on one’s bosom refers to the oriental mode of reclining at table, Joh 13:23.
(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 rest (Matt. 8:11; Luke 16:23) at the banquet in Paradise. (See BANQUET; MEALS)
In Roman times, their custom of reclining on Couches at meals prevailed among the Jews. Each leaned on his left arm, and so lay, as it were, in the bosom of the next below him. This position in the bosom of the master of the house was the place of honor (Joh 1:18; Joh 13:23). To lie in Abraham’s bosom was thus a phrase for blessed repose in closest nearness to the father of the faithful in the feast of paradise (Mat 8:11; Luk 16:23).
booz’-um (kolpos Abraam; kolpoi Abraam): Figurative. The expression occurs in Luke 16:22; Luke 16:23, 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 on the breast of his neighbor. Thus, John leaned on the breast of Jesus at supper (Joh 21:20).
The rabbis divided the state after death (Sheol) into a place for the righteous and a place for the wicked (see ESCHATOLOGY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; SHEOL); but it is doubtful whether the figure of Jesus quite corresponds with this idea. “Abraham’s bosom” is not spoken of as in “Hades,” but rather as distinguished from it (Lu 16:23)–a place of blessedness by itself. There Abraham receives, as at a feast, the truly faithful, and admits them to closest intimacy. It may be regarded as equivalent to the “Paradise” of Lu 23:43. See HADES; PARADISE.
Abraham their forefather was believed by the Jews to be in the highest place of happiness, and their writings show that ‘to be with Abraham’ and to be in his bosom were terms they used to express the highest security and happiness. Our Lord therefore used an expression that was well understood by His hearers and needed no explanation. Luke 16:23. It stands in contrast to hell, or hades, and was therefore figurative of heaven.