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 3:21, Ecc 12:7, Lk 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 EzeK 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; 1 Cor 15:55
Spirit  Goes up to God Acts 7:59
Soul  Present with the Lord 2 Cor 5:8; Eph 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 3:21; Ecc 12:7
Soul  Goes to Hell  Lk 16:19-26; Matt 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).