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English Bible Dictionary

Stocks

 

(An instrument of punishment, consisting of two beams, the upper one being movable, with two small openings between them, large enough for the ankles of the prisoner: ED.) The term "stocks" is applied in the Authorized Version to two different articles one of which answers rather to our pillory, inasmuch as the body was placed in a bent position, by the confinement of the neck and arms as well as the legs while the other answers to our "stocks," the feet alone being confined in it. The prophet Jeremiah was confined in the first sort, (Jeremiah 20:2) which appears to have been a common mode of punishment in his day, (Jeremiah 29:26) as the prisons contained a chamber for the special purpose, termed "the house of the pillory." (2 Chronicles 16:10) (Authorized Version "prison-house"), and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The stocks, properly so called, are noticed in (Job 13:27; 33:11; Acts 16:24) The term used in (Proverbs 7:22) (Authorized Version "stocks") more properly means a fetter.

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