Jump to: Smith'sISBEEaston'sWebster'sConcordanceThesaurusGreekHebrewSubtopicsTerms
Bible Concordance
Prison (131 Occurrences)

Matthew 4:12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; (KJV WEY BBE WBS NIV)

Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are with him in the way; lest perhaps the prosecutor deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 11:2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 14:3 For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 14:10 and he sent and beheaded John in the prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 18:30 He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 25:36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.' (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 25:39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?' (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 25:43 I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.' (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Matthew 25:44 "Then they will also answer, saying,'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?' (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (KJV WEY BBE WBS NIV)

Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent out and arrested John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, for he had married her. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 6:27 Immediately the king sent out a soldier of his guard, and commanded to bring John's head, and he went and beheaded him in the prison, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Mark 6:28 and he having gone, beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head upon a plate, and did give it to the damsel, and the damsel did give it to her mother; (YLT)

Mark 15:7 and at this time a man named Barabbas was in prison among the insurgents--persons who in the insurrection had committed murder. (WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 3:20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 12:58 For when you are going with your adversary before the magistrate, try diligently on the way to be released from him, lest perhaps he drag you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 21:12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 22:33 He said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Luke 23:19 one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder. (WEB KJV

Luke 23:25 He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

John 3:24 For John was not yet thrown into prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 4:3 And they took them and put them in prison till the morning, for it was now evening. (BBE)

Acts 5:18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. (KJV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV)

Acts 5:19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 5:21 When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 5:22 But the officers who came didn't find them in the prison. They returned and reported, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 5:23 "We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!" (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 5:25 One came and told them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 8:3 But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 12:4 When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 12:6 The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. (KJV DBY WBS)

Acts 12:9 And he went out and followed him. He didn't know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision. (See NIV)

Acts 12:17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, "Tell these things to James, and to the brothers." Then he departed, and went to another place. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 16:23 When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 16:24 who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)

Acts 16:26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were loosened. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 16:27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 16:30 and, bringing them out of the prison, he exclaimed, "O sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (WEY)

Acts 16:36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace. (KJV WBS)

Acts 16:37 But Paul said to them, "They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 16:39 and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city. (See NIV)

Acts 16:40 They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia's house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit, at town after town, testifies to me that imprisonment and suffering are awaiting me. (Root in WEY BBE RSV NIV)

Acts 22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 22:19 I said,'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 23:29 I found him to be accused about questions of their law, but not to be charged with anything worthy of death or of imprisonment. (Root in WEB WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 24:27 But after the lapse of fully two years Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and being desirous of gratifying the Jews, Felix left Paul still in prison. (WEY NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 25:4 But Festus, in answer, said that Paul was being kept in prison at Caesarea, and that in a short time he himself was going there. (BBE)

Acts 25:14 As he stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul's case before the king, saying, "There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; (Root in WEB WEY ASV BBE DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 25:21 But when Paul appealed to have his case kept for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him to be kept in prison until I could send him up to Caesar." (WEY)

Acts 26:10 This I also did in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Acts 26:31 and, having withdrawn, they talked to one another and said, "This man is doing nothing for which he deserves death or imprisonment." (Root in WEY BBE NAS RSV NIV)

Romans 11:32 For God has locked up all in the prison of unbelief, that upon all alike He may have mercy. (WEY)

Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Corinthians 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I am more so; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Galatians 3:23 Before this faith came, we Jews were perpetual prisoners under the Law, living under restraints and limitations in preparation for the faith which was soon to be revealed. (Root in WEY BBE NIV)

Philippians 1:17 while the others proclaim Him from motives of rivalry, and insincerely, supposing that by this they are embittering my imprisonment. (Root in WEY BBE NAS RSV)

Colossians 4:3 And pray at the same time for us also, that God may open for us a door for preaching, for us to tell the truth concerning Christ for the sake of which I am even a prisoner. (Root in WEY NAS RSV)

2 Timothy 2:9 For preaching the Good News I suffer, and am even put in chains, as if I were a criminal: yet the word of God is not imprisoned. (Root in WEY BBE NAS)

Hebrews 10:34 For you not only showed sympathy with those who were imprisoned, but you even submitted with joy when your property was taken from you, being well aware that you have in your own selves a more valuable possession and one which will remain. (Root in WEY BBE DBY NAS RSV NIV)

Hebrews 11:36 Others were tried by mocking and scourging, yes, moreover by bonds and imprisonment. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Hebrews 13:3 Remember prisoners, as if you were in prison with them; and remember those suffering ill-treatment, for you yourselves also are still in the body. (Root in WEY DBY NAS RSV NIV)

Hebrews 13:23 Our brother Timothy has been let out of prison; and if he comes here in a short time, he and I will come to you together. (BBE)

1 Peter 3:19 in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Revelation 2:10 Don't be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Revelation 13:10 If any man sends others into prison, into prison he will go: if any man puts to death with the sword, with the sword will he be put to death. Here is the quiet strength and the faith of the saints. (BBE)

Revelation 18:2 He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird! (WEB NAS)

Revelation 20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 39:20 Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where the king's prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 39:21 But Yahweh was with Joseph, and showed kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS RSV NIV)

Genesis 39:22 The keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever they did there, he was responsible for it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 39:23 The keeper of the prison didn't look after anything that was under his hand, because Yahweh was with him; and that which he did, Yahweh made it prosper. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS RSV)

Genesis 40:3 He put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 40:4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he took care of them. They stayed in prison many days. (WEB BBE)

Genesis 40:5 They both dreamed a dream, each man his dream, in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were bound in the prison. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)

Genesis 40:7 And he said to the servants of Pharaoh who were in prison with him, Why are you looking so sad? (BBE)

Genesis 40:14 But keep me in mind when things go well for you, and be good to me and say a good word for me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison: (BBE NIV)

Genesis 40:15 For truly I was taken by force from the land of the Hebrews; and I have done nothing for which I might be put in prison. (BBE)

Genesis 40:19 After three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison, hanging you on a tree, so that your flesh will be food for birds. (BBE)

Genesis 41:10 Pharaoh had been angry with his servants, and had put me in prison in the house of the captain of the army, together with the chief bread-maker; (BBE NIV)

Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and they took him quickly out of prison; and when his hair had been cut and his dress changed, he came before Pharaoh. (BBE)

Genesis 42:16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. (KJV BBE DBY WBS RSV NIV)

Genesis 42:17 So he put them in prison for three days. (BBE NAS RSV)

Genesis 42:19 If you are honest men, then let one of your brothers be bound in your prison; but you go, carry grain for the famine of your houses. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Genesis 42:30 The man who is the ruler of the country was rough with us and put us in prison, saying that we had come with a secret evil purpose. (BBE)

Exodus 12:29 And in the middle of the night the Lord sent death on every first male child in the land of Egypt, from the child of Pharaoh on his seat of power to the child of the prisoner in the prison; and the first births of all the cattle. (Root in BBE YLT NIV)

Judges 16:21 The Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he ground at the mill in the prison. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

Judges 16:25 It happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, "Call for Samson, that he may entertain us." They called for Samson out of the prison; and he performed before them. They set him between the pillars; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)

1 Kings 22:27 Say,'Thus says the king, "Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace."'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Kings 17:4 The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Kings 25:27 It happened in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Kings 25:29 and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 16:10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

2 Chronicles 18:26 and say, Thus says the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Ezra 7:26 Whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed on him with all diligence, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Ezra 9:7 From the days of our fathers till this day we have been great sinners; and for our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been given up into the hands of the kings of the lands, to the sword and to prison and to loss of goods and to shame of face, as it is this day. (BBE)

Ezra 9:8 And now for a little time grace has come to us from the Lord our God, to let a small band of us get free and to give us a nail in his holy place, so that our God may give light to our eyes and a measure of new life in our prison chains. (BBE)


Prison (131 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary The first occasion on which we read of a prison is
in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, "Joseph's ...
/p/prison.htm - 52k

Prison-house (29 Occurrences)
Prison-house. << Prisoners, Prison-house. Prison-houses >>. Multi-Version
Concordance Prison-house (29 Occurrences). Acts ...
/p/prison-house.htm - 15k

Prison-houses (1 Occurrence)
Prison-houses. << Prison-house, Prison-houses. Prisoning >>. Multi-Version
Concordance Prison-houses (1 Occurrence). Isaiah ...
/p/prison-houses.htm - 6k

Prison-doors (1 Occurrence)
Prison-doors. << Prison, Prison-doors. Prisoned >>. Multi-Version
Concordance Prison-doors (1 Occurrence). Acts 5:19 But ...
/p/prison-doors.htm - 6k

Jail (15 Occurrences)
... 1. (n.) A kind of prison; a building for the confinement of persons held in lawful
custody, especially for minor offenses or with reference to some future ...
/j/jail.htm - 10k

Keeper (72 Occurrences)
... possession of anything. 2. (n.) One who retains in custody; one who has the
care of a prison and the charge of prisoners. 3. (n.) One ...
/k/keeper.htm - 30k

Jailer (8 Occurrences)
... and power. Noah Webster's Dictionary. (n.) The keeper of a jail or prison.
Multi-Version Concordance Jailer (8 Occurrences). Acts ...
/j/jailer.htm - 9k

Confined (18 Occurrences)
... (DBY NAS RSV NIV). Genesis 40:3 He put them in custody in the house of the captain
of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. ...
/c/confined.htm - 11k

Dungeon (15 Occurrences)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary Different from the ordinary prison in being more severe
as a place of punishment. ... dun'-jun. See PRISON. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/d/dungeon.htm - 12k

Joseph's (36 Occurrences)
... Genesis 39:20 Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, the place where
the king's prisoners were bound, and he was there in custody. ...
/j/joseph&#39;s.htm - 17k

1201. desmoterion -- a prison
... a prison. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: desmoterion Phonetic Spelling:
(des-mo-tay'-ree-on) Short Definition: a prison Definition: a prison. ...
/greek/1201.htm - 6k

1200. desmophulax -- a prison keeper
... a prison keeper. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: desmophulax Phonetic
Spelling: (des-mof-oo'-lax) Short Definition: a keeper of a prison, a ...
/greek/1200.htm - 6k

3612. oikema -- a dwelling
... a dwelling. Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter Transliteration: oikema Phonetic Spelling:
(oy'-kay-mah) Short Definition: a prison Definition: a prison cell. ...
/greek/3612.htm - 6k

5438. phulake -- a guarding, guard, watch
... Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: phulake Phonetic Spelling:
(foo-lak-ay') Short Definition: a watching, guard, prison, imprisonment Definition ...
/greek/5438.htm - 7k

5084. teresis -- a watching, hence imprisonment, a keeping
... a keeping. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: teresis Phonetic Spelling:
(tay'-ray-sis) Short Definition: a prison, observance Definition: a prison ...
/greek/5084.htm - 7k

930. basanistes -- a torturer
... Cognate: 930 (from 928 ) -- a guard in a prison "whose function was to prisoners
as a phase of judicial examination -- prison guard, " (, 1, 37.126). ...
/greek/930.htm - 6k

4887. sundeo -- to bind together
... jail. See 4886 (). Word Origin from sun and deo Definition to bind together
NASB Word Usage prison (1). be a fellow-prisoner. From ...
/greek/4887.htm - 6k

5421. phrear -- a well
... derivation; a hole in the ground (dug for obtaining or holding water or other purposes),
ie A cistern or well; figuratively, an abyss (as a prison) -- well, pit ...
/greek/5421.htm - 6k

3860. paradidomi -- to hand over, to give or deliver over, to ...
... and didomi; to surrender, ie yield up, intrust, transmit -- betray, bring forth,
cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison, recommend. ...
/greek/3860.htm - 11k

Smith's Bible Dictionary

[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. (Genesis 40:3; 42:17) During the wandering in the desert we read on two occasions of confinement "in ward" -- (Leviticus 24:12; Numbers 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 Antoni, was used as a prison at Jerusalem, (Acts 23:10) and at Caesarea the praetorium 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. (Jeremiah 35:6-11)

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The phrase occurs in the much-disputed passage, 1 Peter 3:18-20, where the apostle, exhorting Christians to endurance under suffering for well-doing, says: "Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water." It is plain that in this context "the spirits in prison" (tois en phulake pneumasin) denote the generation who were disobedient in the days of Noah, while the words "spirits" and "in prison" refer to their present disembodied condition in a place of judgment in the unseen world (compare 2 Peter 2:4-9). The crucial point in the passage lies in what is said of Christ's preaching to these spirits in prison. The interpretation which strikes one most naturally is that Christ, put to death in the flesh, and made alive again in the spirit, went in this spiritual (disembodied) state, and preached to these spirits, who once had been disobedient, but are viewed as now possibly receptive of His message This is the idea of the passage taken by the majority of modern exegetes, and it finds support in what is said in 1 Peter 4:6, "For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." On this basis is now often reared a mass of doctrine or conjecture respecting "second probation," "restoration," etc.-in part going back to patristic times-for which the passage, even so taken, affords a very narrow foundation (see on this view, Plumptre, The Spirits in Prison; Dorner, System of Christian Doctrine, IV, 130-32; E. White, Life in Christ, chapter xxii). It must be admitted, however, that, on closer examination, the above plausible explanation is compassed with many difficulties. A preaching of Christ in Hades is referred to in no other passage of Scripture, while Peter appears to be speaking to his readers of something with which they are familiar; it seems strange that these antediluvians should be singled out as the sole objects of this preaching in the spiritual world; the word "made alive" does not exegetically refer to a disembodied state, but to the resurrection of Christ in the body, etc. Another line of interpretation is therefore preferred by many, who take the words "in which also he went," to refer, not to a disembodied manifestation, but to the historical preaching to the antediluvian generation through Noah while they yet lived. In favor of this view is the fact that the apostle in 1 Peter 1:11 regards the earlier prophetic preaching as a testifying of "the Spirit of Christ," that God's long-suffering with Noah's generation is described in Genesis 6:5, which Peter has doubtless in his mind, as a striving of God's Spirit, and that in 2 Peter 2:5 there is another allusion to these events, and Noah is described as "a preacher of righteousness." The passage, 1 Peter 4:6, may have the more general meaning that Christians who have died are at no disadvantage in the judgment as compared with those who shall be alive at the Parousia (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). (For an exposition of this view, with a full account of the interpretations and literature on the subject, compare Salmond's Christian Doctrine of Immortality, 4th edition, 364-87.)


James Orr


priz'-n, priz'-'-n-er, priz'-ner (there are various Hebrew words which are rendered "prison" in the King James Version, among them:

1. Hebrew Words:

(1) cohar, "round house," "fortress" (8 times in Genesis), (2) kele' "restraint," "confinement" (12 times: in historic books, Isaiah, Jeremiah, with "house"), (3) maTTarah, "guard," "sentry" (13 times in Jeremiah and Nehemiah), (4) mahaphekheth, "distorting," i.e. stocks or pillory (4 times), (5) 'ecur, "bond," "fetters" (Ecclesiastes 4:14 Jeremiah 37:15); "ward" in the King James Version is usually the rendering for mishmar):

2. In Early Times:

The earliest occurrence of the word "prison" in the King James Version is found in the narrative of Joseph's life in Egypt (the Jahwist). The term used, namely, cohar, means perhaps "round house" or "tower." It seems probable that among the Hebrews there were no special buildings erected as "jails" in the premonarchical period, and perhaps not before the post-exilic period, when the adoption of the civic institutions and customs of surrounding nations prevailed. In Egypt and Assyria, on the contrary, there were probably public buildings corresponding to our modern jails. Among the Hebrews, rooms in connection with the royal palace or the residence of prominent court officials would be used for the purpose.

3. Joseph in Egypt:

According to one narrative (Jahwist) in Genesis the prison in which Joseph was confined had a "keeper," while according to another narrative (the Elohist) the offending members of the royal household, namely, the royal butler and the royal baker, were placed "in ward" with the "captain of the guard" in charge, i.e. in some part of the royal palace. This is still more probable if, instead of "captain of the guard," we should translate "chief of the cooks" i.e. superintendent of the royal kitchen.

4. Causes of Imprisonment:

It was often necessary to restrict the liberty of individuals who for various causes were a menace to those in authority, without inflicting any corporal punishment, e.g. Joseph's brethren were kept "in ward" three days (Genesis 42:19); Shimei was forbidden to pass beyond the boundary of Jerusalem (1 Kings 2:36); the person who was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath was put "in ward" pending his trial (Numbers 15:34). In the monarchical period, prophets who criticized the throne were put in prison, e.g. Micaiah by Ahab (1 Kings 22:27), Hanani by Asa (2 Chronicles 16:10). Hoshea, after his abortive effort to institute an alliance with So or Seve, king of Egypt, was shut up in prison by Shalmaneser (2 Kings 17:4); compare also 2 Kings 25:27 (Jehoiachin in Babylon); Jeremiah 52:11 (Zedekiah in Babylon).

5. Under the Monarchy:

The Book of Jeremiah throws considerable light on the prison system of Jerusalem in the later monarchical period. The prophet was put "in the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, which was in the house of Yahweh" (20:2). Mere imprisonment was not adequate punishment for the prophet's announcement of Judah's doom; it was necessary to have recourse to the pillory. During the siege of Jerusalem Jeremiah was confined in the "court of the guard, which was in the king of Judah's house" (32:2, etc.). The "court of the guard" was evidently the quarters of the sentry who guarded the royal palace. According to the narrative of Jeremiah 37, the prophet was arrested on a charge of treachery and put in prison "in the house of Jonathan the scribe" (37:15). This verse does not necessarily mean that a private house was used as a prison. The words are capable of another interpretation, namely, that a building known as the "house of Jonathan the scribe" had been taken over by the authorities and converted into a jail. We read in the following verse that the house had a "dungeon" (literally, "house of the pit") and "cabins" or "cells."

6. The Treatment of Prisoners:

The data are not sufficient to enable us to give any detailed description of the treatment of prisoners. This treatment varied according to the character of the offense which led to incarceration. Samson during the period of his imprisonment was compelled to do hard labor (Judges 16:21). Grinding was the occupation of women, and marked the depth of Samson's humiliation. Dangerous persons were subjected to various kinds of physical mutilation, e.g. Samson was deprived of his sight. This was a common practice in Assyria (2 Kings 25:7). The thumbs and great toes of Adonibezek were cut off to render him incapable of further resistance (Judges 1:6).

Various forms of torture were in vogue. Hanani the seer was put into the pillory by Asa (for "in a prison house" we should render "in the stocks"; see the Revised Version margin). In Jeremiah 29:26 for "prison," we should render "stocks" (so the Revised Version (British and American)) or "pillory," and for "stocks," "collar" (as in the Revised Version margin). the King James Version renders a different Hebrew word by "stocks" in Job (13:27; 33:11). There was a special prison diet (1 Kings 22:27), as well as a prison garb (2 Kings 25:29).

7. Other Hebrew Words:

There are other Hebrew words rendered "prison" (sometimes incorrectly) in the King James Version. In Psalm 142:7, the word which is translated "prison" means a "place of execution," and is derived from a root which denotes, for instance, the isolation of the leper (Leviticus 13:5; compare Isaiah 24:22; 42:7). In Isaiah 53:8 "oppression" not "prison" is the correct translation while in Isaiah 61:1 the Hebrew denotes "opening of the eyes," rather than "opening of the prison." Prisoners are promised "light after darkness, gleam after gloom."

8. In the New Testament:

In the New Testament "prison" generally occurs for the Greek word phulake, which corresponds to the Hebrew word mishmar, referred to above (Matthew 5:25 Mark 6:17 Luke 3:20 Acts 5:19 1 Peter 3:19). In Revelation 18:2, the King James Version renders this word by two different words, namely, "hold" and "cage"; the Revised Version (British and American) employs "hold" in each case (the Revised Version margin "prison"). In one passage "ward" is the rendering in the King James Version (Acts 12:10). In connection with the imprisonment of John the term used is desmoterion, "place of bonds" or "fetters" (Matthew 11:2); the same word is used in the case of Peter and John (Acts 5:21, 23), and of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:26). But the more common term is also found in these narratives. In Acts 12:17 "prison" renders a Greek word which means "dwelling." In Acts 5:18 the King James Version, "prison" is the rendering for another Greek word, namely, teresis, "watching" or "ward" (the Revised Version (British and American) "ward"). In Acts 4:3, the King James Version employs "hold" as the rendering for the same word. This would correspond to the modern "police station" or "lockup."


T. Lewis


See preceding article.



Easton's Bible Dictionary
The first occasion on which we read of a prison is in the history of Joseph in Egypt. Then Potiphar, "Joseph's master, took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound" (Genesis 39:20-23). The Hebrews word here used (sohar) means properly a round tower or fortress. It seems to have been a part of Potiphar's house, a place in which state prisoners were kept.

The Mosaic law made no provision for imprisonment as a punishment. In the wilderness two persons were "put in ward" (Leviticus 24:12; Numbers 15:34), but it was only till the mind of God concerning them should be ascertained. Prisons and prisoners are mentioned in the book of Psalms (69:33; 79:11; 142:7). Samson was confined in a Philistine prison (Judges 16:21, 25). In the subsequent history of Israel frequent references are made to prisons (1 Kings 22:27; 2 Kings 17:4; 25:27, 29; 2 Chronicles 16:10; Isaiah 42:7; Jeremiah 32:2). Prisons seem to have been common in New Testament times (Matthew 11:2; 25:36, 43). The apostles were put into the "common prison" at the instance of the Jewish council (Acts 5:18, 23; 8:3); and at Philippi Paul and Silas were thrust into the "inner prison" (16:24; Comp. 4:3; 12:4, 5).

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A place where persons are confined, or restrained of personal liberty; hence, a place or state o/ confinement, restraint, or safe custody.

2. (n.) Specifically, a building for the safe custody or confinement of criminals and others committed by lawful authority.

3. (v. t.) To imprison; to shut up in, or as in, a prison; to confine; to restrain from liberty.

4. (v. t.) To bind (together); to enchain.

Strong's Hebrew
4929. mishmar -- place of confinement, jail, prison, guard, watch ...
... mishmar. 4930 >>. place of confinement, jail, prison, guard, watch, observance.
Transliteration: mishmar Phonetic Spelling: (mish-mawr') Short Definition: guard ...
/hebrew/4929.htm - 6k

4307. mattara -- a guard, ward, prison, target, mark
... a guard, ward, prison, target, mark. Transliteration: mattara or mattarah Phonetic
Spelling: (mat-taw-raw') Short Definition: guardhouse. ... mark, prison. ...
/hebrew/4307.htm - 6k

5474. sugar -- a cage, prison
... << 5473, 5474. sugar. 5475 >>. a cage, prison. Transliteration: sugar Phonetic
Spelling: (soo-gar') Short Definition: cage. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/5474.htm - 6k

3608. kele -- confinement, restraint, imprisonment
... << 3607, 3608. kele. 3609 >>. confinement, restraint, imprisonment. Transliteration:
kele Phonetic Spelling: (keh'-leh) Short Definition: prison. ... prison. ...
/hebrew/3608.htm - 6k

3628. keli -- confinement, restraint, imprisonment
... keli or kelu. 3629 >>. confinement, restraint, imprisonment. Transliteration: keli
or kelu Phonetic Spelling: (kel-ee') Short Definition: prison. ... prison. ...
/hebrew/3628.htm - 6k

4525. masger -- a locksmith, smith, a dungeon
... Word Origin from sagar Definition a locksmith, smith, a dungeon NASB Word
Usage dungeon (1), prison (2), smiths (4). prison, smith. ...
/hebrew/4525.htm - 6k

4115. mahpeketh -- stocks (instrument of punishment)
... Word Origin from haphak Definition stocks (instrument of punishment) NASB
Word Usage prison* (1), stocks (3). prison, stocks. From ...
/hebrew/4115.htm - 6k

6486. pequddah -- oversight, mustering, visitation, store
... 1), appointed (1), care (1), class (1), executioners (1), fate (1), muster (2),
office (1), officers (1), offices (3), oversight (2), prison* (1), punishment ...
/hebrew/6486.htm - 6k

6115. otser -- restraint, coercion
... barren, oppression, prison. From atsar; closure; also constraint -- X barren,
oppression, X prison. see HEBREW atsar. << 6114, 6115. otser. 6116 >>. ...
/hebrew/6115.htm - 6k

5470. sohar -- perhaps roundness
... prison. From the same as cahar; a dungeon (as surrounded by walls) -- prison. see
HEBREW cahar. << 5469, 5470. sohar. 5471 >>. Strong's Numbers.
/hebrew/5470.htm - 6k



Prison Garments

Prison: Cells of

Prison: Court of

Prison: General Scriptures Concerning

Prison: Public Ward of

Related Terms

Prison-house (29 Occurrences)

Prison-houses (1 Occurrence)

Prison-doors (1 Occurrence)

Jail (15 Occurrences)

Keeper (72 Occurrences)

Jailer (8 Occurrences)

Confined (18 Occurrences)

Dungeon (15 Occurrences)

Joseph's (36 Occurrences)

Thrown (126 Occurrences)

Courtyard (59 Occurrences)

Infirm (25 Occurrences)

Evil-merodach (2 Occurrences)

Evilmerodach (2 Occurrences)

Doors (149 Occurrences)

Herodias (7 Occurrences)

Ill (137 Occurrences)

Threw (133 Occurrences)

Visited (40 Occurrences)

Jehoiachin (20 Occurrences)

Visit (97 Occurrences)

Jehoi'achin (11 Occurrences)

Locked (19 Occurrences)

Ill-clad (6 Occurrences)

Imprisoned (19 Occurrences)

Fetters (21 Occurrences)

Beheaded (12 Occurrences)

Clothing (288 Occurrences)

Custody (27 Occurrences)

Armed (147 Occurrences)

Enraged (23 Occurrences)

Clothes (208 Occurrences)

Assembly (371 Occurrences)

Naked (56 Occurrences)

Prisoner (87 Occurrences)

Released (52 Occurrences)

Sick (117 Occurrences)

Jailor (3 Occurrences)

Earthquake (17 Occurrences)

Opened (182 Occurrences)

Chains (100 Occurrences)

Orders (736 Occurrences)

Shouted (65 Occurrences)

Spirits (129 Occurrences)

Shut (237 Occurrences)

Seized (118 Occurrences)

Bound (175 Occurrences)

Safely (83 Occurrences)

Punishments (31 Occurrences)

Prisoners (170 Occurrences)

Zedeki'ah (62 Occurrences)

Putting (278 Occurrences)

Homeless (6 Occurrences)

Keepers (78 Occurrences)

Officers (171 Occurrences)

Officer (70 Occurrences)

Onesiphorus (2 Occurrences)

Opponent (13 Occurrences)

John's (27 Occurrences)

Guards (42 Occurrences)

Warden (8 Occurrences)

Wandering (120 Occurrences)

Inflicted (20 Occurrences)

Insurrection (8 Occurrences)

Fled (181 Occurrences)

Thirty-seventh (3 Occurrences)

Thirtieth (9 Occurrences)

Tumult (56 Occurrences)

Roused (24 Occurrences)

Dined (4 Occurrences)

Detestable (121 Occurrences)

Doer (25 Occurrences)

Detained (8 Occurrences)

Micaiah (27 Occurrences)

Police (10 Occurrences)

Prisoned (7 Occurrences)

Philip's (5 Occurrences)

Perhaps (89 Occurrences)

Pains (59 Occurrences)

Top of Page
Top of Page