STUBBLE (Heb. qāsh, teven, Gr. kalamē). The stalks of grain, usually about half of the stem, left standing after reaping. When the Hebrews made brick in Egypt, they had to gather this rather than use the straw from threshing floors that had previously been provided (Exod.5.10-Exod.5.14). The word became a simile for wayward Israel (Isa.47.14).
STUBBLE (קַשׁ, H7990, stubble or chaff). Stubble is the part of the plant stem left standing in the field after the crop has been harvested. Chaff is the husks or fine particles which are separated from the grain during threshing and winnowing. Translators are confronted with the difficulty of deciding whether “stubble” or “chaff” is intended, since the same word is used for both in OT lit.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
stro, stub’-’-l: The cognates of Hebrew tebhen, "straw" and qash, "stubble," have been retained in the modern Arabic terms tibn and qashsh. Tibn applies to the straw which has been cut up into short pieces and more or less split by the threshing operations. It is commonly used throughout the East as a coarse fodder or roughage for domestic herbivorous animals (compare Ge 24:25,32; Jud 19:19; 1Ki 4:28; Isa 11:7; 65:25). Hay and similar cured crops are practically unknown. Barley, peas and other grain, when fed to animals, are mixed with the tibn. The animals will frequently reject the tibn unless there is grain in it. They often nose about the tibn until the grain settles to the bottom so that they can eat the latter without the straw. Straw left in the manger is thrown out in the stall to form part of the bedding (compare Isa 25:10).
Tibn is mixed with clay for plastering walls or for making sun-dried bricks. It is also mixed with lime and sand for plastering. The children of Israel had their task of brickmaking made more arduous by being required to gather stubble and prepare it by chopping it up instead of being given the already prepared straw of the threshing-floors (Ex 5:7 ).
Qashsh (literally, "dried up") refers to the stalks left standing in the wheat fields or to any dried-up stalks or stems such as are gathered for burning. Camels and other flocks sometimes supplement their regular meals by grazing on the stubble, otherwise it has no use. In the Bible stubble is used to typify worthless inflammable material (Ex 15:7; Job 13:25; 41:28,29; Ps 83:13; Isa 5:24, etc.; 1Co 3:12, kalame).
mathben, is translated "straw" in Isa 25:10.
James A. Patch
(qash (Ex 5:12, etc.); kalame ( 3:7; 1Co 3:12)): These Hebrew and Greek forms are used of the stalks of wheat, etc., left knee-high in the field by the reapers. tebhen (Job 21:18), is a mixture of chopped straw and chaff produced in threshing, which is winnowed out by the fan (compare Jer 23:28; Isa 5:24; Mt 3:12). When tebhen was withheld from them the Israelites had to utilize qash for the manufacture of their bricks (Ex 5:12).