ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
different from the ordinary prison in being more severe as a place of punishment
Like the Roman inner prison (Acts 16:24), it consisted of a deep cell or cistern (Jer. 38:6).
To be shut up in a dungeon was a punishment common in Egypt (Genesis 39:20; 40:3; 41:10; 42:19).
It is not mentioned, however, in the law of Moses as a mode of punishment.
Under the later kings imprisonment was frequently used as a punishment (2 Chron. 16:10; Jer. 20:2; 32:2; 33:1; 37:15), and it was customary after the Exile (Matt. 11:2; Luke 3:20; Acts 5:18, 21; Matt. 18:30).