the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature
Judgment-Hall occurs;;;;;; . In all these passages except one () the English version gives an explanation of the word rather than a translation: thus, , 'the common-hall,' margin, 'or governor's house:'; , 'the judgment-hall;' margin, 'or Pilate's house:' , 'the palace;' margin, 'or Caesar's court.' Originally the word signified the general's tent in a camp, but it came at length to be applied to the residence of the civil governor in provinces and cities, and was used to signify whatever appertained to the praetor or governor: for instance, his residence, either the whole or any part of it, as his dwelling-house, or the place where he administered justice, or even the large enclosed court at the entrance to the praetorian residence.
Upon comparing the instances in which the evangelists mention the praetorium, it will be seen, first, that in , it means the residence of Pilate, which seems to have been the magnificent palace built by Herod, situated in the north part of the upper city, west of the temple, and overlooking the temple. Secondly, the word is applied in the New Testament, by synecdoche, to a particular part of the praetorian residence. Thus, , and , 'And the soldiers led Jesus away into the hall called Praetorium, and gathered unto them the whole band, and they clothed him with purple,' etc.; where the word rather refers to the court or area in front of the praetorium, or some other court where the procurator's guards were stationed. In , the word seems applied, when all the circumstances are considered, to Pilate's private examination room. In like manner, when Felix 'commanded Paul to be kept in Herod's praetorium' (), the words apply not only to the whole palace originally built at Caesarea by Herod, and now most likely inhabited by the praetor, but also to the keep or donjon, a prison for confining offenders, such as existed in our ancient royal palaces and grand baronial castles. Thirdly, in the remaining instance of the word, , 'So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the praetorium,' 'palace,' it is, in the opinion of the best commentators, used to signify the praetorian camp at Rome, a select body of troops constituted by Augustus to guard his person and to have charge of the city, so that the words of the apostle really mean, 'My bonds in Christ are manifest to all the praetorians, and by their means to the public at large.'
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Judgment-Hall'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​kbe/​j/judgment-hall.html.