Straw (תֶּבֶן, teben [once "stubble," Job 21:18; once "chaff," Jer 23:28]; once the cognate מַתבֵּן, mithben, Isa 25:10; Sept. ἄχυρον; Vulg. palea). Both wheat and barley straw were used by the ancient Hebrews chiefly as fodder for their horses, cattle, and camels (Ge 24:25; 1Ki 4:28; Isa 11:7; Isa 55:13). The straw was probably often chopped and mixed with barley, beans, etc., for provender (see Harmer, Obs. [Lond. 1797], 1, 423, 424; Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt. [ibid. 1854], 2, 48). There is no intimation that straw was used for litter; Harmer thinks it was not so employed. The litter the people now use in those countries is the animal's dung, dried in the sun and bruised between their hands which they heap up again in the morning, sprinkling it in the summer with fresh water to keep it from corrupting (Harmer, Obs. p. 424). Straw was employed by the Egyptians for making bricks (Ex 5:7,16); it was chopped up and mixed with the clay to make them more compact and to prevent their cracking (Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt. 2, 194). SEE BRICK. The ancient Egyptians reaped their corn close to the ear and afterwards cut the straw close to the ground (ibid. p. 48) and laid it by. This was the straw that Pharaoh refused to give to the Israelites, who were therefore compelled to gather "stubble" (קִשׁ, kash) instead, a matter of considerable difficulty, seeing that the straw itself had been cut off near to the ground. The stubble (q.v.) frequently alluded to in the Scriptures may denote either the short standing straw mentioned above, which was commonly set on fire (hence the allusions in Isa 5:24; Joe 2:5), or the small fragments that would be left behind after the reapings (hence the expression "as the kash before the wind" [Ps 83:13; Isa 41:2; Jer 13:24]). SEE AGRICULTURE.

Bible concordance for STRAW.

Definition of straw

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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