Proponents of an intermediate state typically regard the story of Lazarus & the rich man (Luke 16:19-31) to be informative on the realities of the underworld. According to the story, Hades / Sheol would have at least two compartments -- one of comfort for the righteous and one of torment for the wicked.
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’
[Luke 16:22-26 ESV]
Some even see a connection with Luke 23:43 "And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”", arguing that Jesus likely meant that He and the repentant criminal would meet again in Abraham's bosom that day (today in paradise). See Is there room for interpreting "paradise" in Luke 23:43 as a reference to "Abraham's Bosom" (Luke 16:19-31)?
But if Sheol / Hades has always had a compartment for the righteous, and if said compartment is of comfort and joy, a paradise where the righteous wait in comfort and bliss for the advent of the Messiah, then how do advocates of an intermediate state explain the fact that OT authors such as David, Isaiah, Job, Ecclesiastes and others seemed to be oblivious to this compartment when they spoke about death in their writings? It is as if they were completely unaware of its existence.
I will cite some passages in a second, but as a summary, I'll share a quote from Rajesh's answer here:
Here's The #1 Point
Here is, by far, the most significant point: While God might have allowed the Israelites to believe that the dead were conscious(even allowing some such as Saul and his contemporaries to believe that they were capable of being contacted), you know what's one thing God never once allowed them to believe? That the righteous go to heaven and the unrighteous go to hell; more accurately, that the righteous go to one compartment of Sheol to be in bliss and the unrighteous go to another compartment of Sheol to be in torment. In fact, quite the opposite! Whatever the Israelites did believe about the dead, it utterly opposes any notions of heaven and hell(or individual compartments of Sheol, one dedicated for the righteous who live there in bliss, and another dedicated for the unrighteous who live there in torment).
I want you, for one moment, to completely forget everything you've ever thought, believed, or assumed about the state of the dead. If you were to then read each of the following passages, would you ever in a billion years come out with the notion that the dead are either being tormented in hell(compartment of Sheol for the unrighteous) or experiencing bliss in heaven(compartment of Sheol for the righteous, i.e. paradise/Abraham's bosom)? We will see that such notions are thoroughly foreign to the Bible.
He then proceeds to quote a number of passages from multiple OT authors in support of these assertions. And to be honest, I have to admit that he has a good point. Passages such as Psalm 30:9, 6:4-5, 115:17, 88:10-12, Isaiah 14:9-11, 26:14, 38:17-19, Job 10:21-22, 14:10-12, 17:13-16, Ecclesiastes 9:5-10 strongly suggest that people in Old Testament times referred to the state of the dead in terms that reveal no knowledge about a blissful paradise in Sheol where they would meet Abraham and other saints.
Question: According to proponents of an intermediate state, why does the Old Testament seem to be oblivious to the existence of the Bosom of Abraham?