From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( n.) A wing.

(2): ( n.) The internal shell of a squid.

(3): ( n.) A female swan.

(4): ( v. t.) To write; to compose and commit to paper; to indite; to compose; as, to pen a sonnet.

(5): ( n. & v.) To shut up, as in a pen or cage; to confine in a small inclosure or narrow space; to coop up, or shut in; to inclose.

(6): ( n.) A small inclosure; as, a pen for sheep or for pigs.

(7): ( n.) A feather.

(8): ( n.) An instrument used for writing with ink, formerly made of a reed, or of the quill of a goose or other bird, but now also of other materials, as of steel, gold, etc. Also, originally, a stylus or other instrument for scratching or graving.

(9): ( n.) Fig.: A writer, or his style; as, he has a sharp pen.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Κάλαμος (Strong'S #2563 — Noun Masculine — kalamos — kal'-am-os )

"a reed, reed pipe, flute, staff, measuring rod," is used of a "writing-reed" or "pen" in  3—John 1:13 . This was used on papyrus. Different instruments were used on different materials; the kalamos may have been used also on leather. "Metal pens in the form of a reed or quill have been found in the so-called Grave of Aristotle at Eretria." See Reed.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

The ancient pen was a stylus of hardened iron,  Jeremiah 17:1 , sometimes pointed with diamond, for writing on hard substances, like metallic plates; when waxen tablets were used, the stylus had one end made broad and smooth, for erasing errors,  2 Kings 21:13 . For parchment, cloth, and similar substances, a reed pen was used, or a fine hair pencil, with ink,  Judges 5:14   Job 19:24   Isaiah 8:1   Jeremiah 36:23   3 John 1:13 .

King James Dictionary [4]

PEN, n. L. penna pinna, a fin, that is, a shoot or point.

1. An instrument used for writing, usually made of the quill of some large fowl, but it may be of any other material. 2. A feather, a wing. Not used.

PEN, pret. and pp. penned. To write to compose and commit to paper.

PEN, n. A small inclosure for beasts, as for cows or sheep.

PEN, pret. and pp. penned or pent. To shut in a pen to confine in a small inclosure to coop to confine in a narrow place, usually followed by up, which is redundant.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

A general term for any implement used either for cutting an inscription on stone or metal, or a reed for writing on papyrus or parchment.  Judges 5:14;  Job 19:24;  Psalm 45:1;  Isaiah 8:1;  Jeremiah 8:8;  Jeremiah 17:1;  3 John 13 .

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [6]

 Psalm 45:1 (a) As the pen writes upon the parchment, so David said that his tongue would write upon the hearts and memories of others. He has done so. He has written beautiful stories about his wonderful Lord upon millions of hearts.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [7]

Pen. See Writing .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [8]

See Writing.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [10]

PEN. See Writing, 6.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

( עֵט , Et,  Job 19:24;  Psalms 45:1;  Jeremiah 8:8;  Jeremiah 17:1; and חֶרֶט , Cheret,  Isaiah 8:1) properly means a Style or Reed. The instruments with which characters were formed in the writing of the ancients varied with the materials to be written upon. The proper pen was made of Reed, Calamus, hence a Reed Pen ( Jeremiah 36:4;  3 John 1:13). This was perhaps the most ancient pen for writing on soft materials; and it is still used by the Turks, Syrians, Persians, Abyssinians, Arabs, and other Orientals, as their languages could not be written without difficulty with pens made like ours from quills. Upon tablets of wax a metallic pen or Stylus was employed. In engraving- upon hard substances, such as stone, wood, or metallic plates, "an iron pen," or graver of iron or copper, was employed ( Job 19:24). (See Ink); (See Reed); (See Writing). From the size and general appearance of some of the ancient reeds, as preserved in pictures found at Herculaneum, we may perceive how easily the same word ( שבט , Shebet ) might denote the scepter or badge of authority belonging to the chief of a tribe, and also a pen for writing with. For although the two instruments are sufficiently distinct among us, yet, where a long rod of cane, or reed perhaps, was (like a general's truncheon. or baton, in modern days) the ensign of command, and a lesser rod of the same nature was formed into a pen and used as such, they had considerable resemblance. This may account for the phraseology and parallelism in  Judges 5:14 :

"Out of Machir came down governors (legislators); Out of Zebulun they that hold the shebet of writers."

The ancients also used styles to write on tablets covered with wax. The Psalmist says ( Psalms 45:1), "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." The Hebrew signifies rather a style, which was a kind of bodkin, made of iron, brass, or bone, sharp at one end, the other formed like a little spoon, or spatula. The sharp end was used for writing letters, the other end expunged them. The writer could put out or correct what he disliked, and yet no erasure appear, and he could write anew as often as he pleased on the same place. On this is founded that advice of Horace, of often turning the style, and blotting out, "a Sape stylum vertas iterum, quae digna legi sint scripturus." Scripture alludes to the same custom ( 2 Kings 21:13), "I will blot out Jerusalem as men blot out writing from their writing tablets." I will turn the tablets, and draw the style over the wax, till nothing appear-not the least trace. Isaiah ( Isaiah 8:1) received orders from the Lord to write in a great roll of parchment, with the style of a man, what should be dictated to him. It is asked, What is meant by this style of a man? It could not be one of these styles of metal; they were not used for writing on parchment. It is probable that the style of a man signifies a manner of writing which is easy, simple, natural, and intelligible. For generally the prophets expressed themselves in a parabolical, enigmatical, and obscure style. Here God intended that Isaiah should not speak as the prophets, but as other men used to do. Jeremiah says ( Jeremiah 8:8) the style of the doctors of the law is a style of error; it writes nothing but lies. Literally, "The pen of the scribes is in vain." They have promised you peace, but behold war. He says, "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond. It is graven upon the table of their heart," or engraven on their heart, as on writing tablets. The Hebrew says, a graver of Shamir.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

( עט , ‛ēt , חרט , ḥeret  ; κάλαμος , kálamos ): The first writing was done on clay, wax, lead or stone tablets by scratching into the material with some hard pointed instrument. For this purpose bodkins of bronze, iron, bone or ivory were used (  Job 19:24;  Isaiah 8:1;  Jeremiah 17:1 ). In  Jeremiah 17:1 a diamond is also mentioned as being used for the same purpose. In Jer 36 Baruch, the son of Neriah, declares that he recorded the words of the prophet with ink in the book. In   Jeremiah 36:23 it says that the king cut the roll with the penknife (literally, the scribe's knife). This whole scene can best be explained if we consider that Baruch and the king's scribes were in the habit of using reed pens. These pens are made from the hollow jointed stalks of a coarse grass growing in marshy places. The dried reed is cut diagonally with the penknife and the point thus formed is carefully shaved thin to make it flexible and the nib split as in the modern pen. The last operation is the clipping off of the very point so that it becomes a stub pen. The Arab scribe does this by resting the nib on his thumb nail while cutting, so that the cut will be clean and the pen will not scratch. The whole procedure requires considerable skill. The pupil in Hebrew or Arabic writing learns to make a pen as his first lesson. A scribe carries a sharp knife around with him for keeping his pen in good condition, hence, the name penknife. The word used in   3 John 1:13 is kalamos , "reed," indicating that the pen described above was used in John's time (compare ḳalam , the common Arabic name for pen). See Ink; Ink-Horn; Writing .

Figurative: "Written with a pen of iron," i.e. indelibly (  Jeremiah 17:1 ). "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" ( Psalm 45:1; compare  Jeremiah 36:18 ). As the trained writer records a speech, so the Psalmist's tongue impresses or engraves on his hearers' minds what he has conceived.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]