Used by the Israelites enslaved in Egypt for binding mud bricks, but to make conditions harder for the slaves, straw was later withheld (Exod. 5: 7–18). Straw was also valuable as fodder (1 Kgs. 4: 28) and the chaff (husks) was separated by winnowing from the edible corn and blown away. Using harvest as a symbol of the final judgment, John the Baptist says that the ‘chaff’ will be destroyed (Matt. 3: 12), adding the method, that it will be by ‘fire’ (a hint of Gehenna, Matt. 18: 9) which was not part of the agricultural process in that age.