Genesis 49:28-33 After Death, in the Old and New Testaments.

Jacob gave his children specific instructions to bury him in the family buringplace, the cave in the field of Machpelah, which Abraham purchased when Sarah died (Gen. 23).  Afterwards, the Bible says that he “yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people,” (v. 33).  The gathering unto his people was not a reference to his burial, which took place many days after his death (Gen. 50).  It was a reference to where his soul went when he yielded up the ghost.


In this lesson, we will examine where the Old Testament saints went after they died.  Then we will study where New Testament saints go when they die.  Then we will see where those that are lost go.  Now remember, every living soul is made of three parts: a spirit, a soul and a body (Gen. 2:7, 1 Thes, 5:23).  These three parts each go to different places at death.


Old Testament Saints

Part Destination Verse
Body Buried in a Grave Gen. 23:4
Spirit Goes up to God Ecc. 3:21Ecc. 12:7Lk. 23:46
Soul To Abraham’s Bosom Lk. 16:19-26


Abraham’s Bosom was located in the heart of the earth.  That’s where paradise was until Jesus’ resurrection (Lk. 23:43; Matt. 12:40).  It was next to Hell, so that the souls in Hell could see the souls in Abraham’s Bosom.  However, there was a great gulf fixed between them so that the souls in Hell could not get to Abraham’s Bosom and the souls in Abraham’s Bosom could not go to Hell.


The souls in Abraham’s Bosom went to heaven with Jesus Christ when he ascended, immediately following his resurrection (Eph. 4:8-10; Jn. 20:17; Matt. 28:9).


The bodies of these saints will arise either in Eze. 37:1-14, or Dan. 12:2 and Jn. 5:28-29.


New Testament Saints

Part Destination Verse
Body Buried in a Grave Acts 5:61 Cor. 15:55
Spirit Goes up to God Acts 7:59
Soul Present with the Lord 2 Cor. 5:8Eph. 5:30


The bodies of New Testament saints will come up at the rapture and will be fashioned just like Jesus’ glorious body (1 Cor 15:50-55; 1 Thes. 4:16-18; Phil. 3:21).


The Unsaved

Part Destination Verse
Body Buried in a Grave Lk. 16:22
Spirit Goes Up to God Ecc. 3:21Ecc. 12:7
Soul Goes to Hell Lk. 16:19-26Matt. 23:15


At the White Throne Judgment, the souls in Hell come out and they are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:13-15).  At this point, they change their bodily shape to that of a worm and they are tormented in the Lake of Fire forever (Mk. 9:44-48).