1. A small enclosure for animals. (Zeph. 2:6; see SHEEPFOLD.) In Micah’s prophecy, regathered and united Israel is likened to “a flock in the pen.” (Mic. 2:12, NW, Le) The Masoretic text here uses the Hebrew word bots·rahʹ, which is elsewhere rendered “Bozrah,” the name of a city of Edom and a city of Moab. However, in view of the phraseology of Micah 2:12 some authorities feel that bots·rahʹ also means a “pen” or “fold” (JP, Mo). If the word should be vowel-pointed slightly differently, it would correspond closely with the Arabic sira (pen).
2. An implement for writing with ink or similar fluid. When ancients wrote on clay, wax or soft metal they used a stylus (see STYLUS), but writing was also done on parchment or papyrus with pen and ink. (3 John 13; 2 John 12) The Greek word translated “pen” (kaʹla·mos) refers to a reed or cane and can literally be rendered “writing-reed.” Among ancient Egyptians the reed pen was made with a flat chisel-shaped head that was cut or sliced so that it would act as a brush. The reeds may have been dried and hardened by leaving them under dung heaps for several months, as has been the practice in recent years. The Greeks and Romans used a reed pen that was pointed and slit, as was later done with quill pens and as is done even with modern fountain pens.