Previous Next

Table of Contents

Prison


Prison. [For imprisonment as a punishment, see Punishments.] It is plain that in Egypt special places were used as prisons, and that they were under the custody of a military officer. Gen. 40:3; 42:17. During the wandering in the desert we read on two occasions of confinement “in ward”—Lev. 24:12; Num. 15:34; but as imprisonment was not directed by the law, so we hear of none till the time of the kings, when the prison appears as an appendage to the palace, or a special part of it. 1 Kings 22:27. Private houses were sometimes used as places of confinement. By the Romans the tower of Antonia was used as a prison at Jerusalem, Acts 23:10, and at Cæsarea the prætorium of Herod. The royal prisons in those days were doubtless managed after the Roman fashion, and chains, fetters, and stocks were used as means of confinement. See Acts 16:24. One of the readiest places for confinement was a dry or partially-dry wall or pit. Jer. 38:6-11.