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The Fuller's Field

A fuller was someone who cleaned and thickened (to make it "full") freshly-woven (usually woolen) cloth. The process involved cleaning, bleaching, wetting and beating the fibers to a consistent and desirable condition. Fuller's earth was a variety of clay that was used to scour and cleanse the cloth. Fuller's soap was an alkali made from plant ashes which was also used to clean and full new cloth. Since fullers required plenty of running water, along with the natural substances described, a fuller's field was a place where all were available for the fullers to conduct their profession.

Jerusalem's Fuller's Field

Fuller's Field Jerusalem's fuller's field existed early in Bible History. The first mention of it is in the time of King Hezekiah (see Kings of Israel and Judah), when the "invade and conquer" Assyrians (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) were threatening the land of Israel again (the Assyrians were not unique in that regard; nearly all militarily-powerful nations throughout human history have been shameless "Might Makes Right" invaders of other nations, see Ancient Empires - Babylon, Ancient Empires - Greece, Ancient Empires - Persia and Ancient Empires - Rome):

"And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the House of The Lord [see "My Father's House"], and in the treasuries of the king's house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Temple [see Temples] of The Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Fuller's Field." (2 Kings 18:15-17 RSV)

"In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field." (Isaiah 36:1-2 RSV) (see also The Day Sennacherib Challenged God)

As mentioned in the previous verses, Jerusalem's fuller's field was on a major highway:

"And The Lord said to Isaiah, "Go forth to meet Ahaz, you and Shearjashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field" (Isaiah 7:3 RSV)

The returning Messiah will be like a "refiner's fire and like fullers' soap"

"Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before Me, and The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His Temple [see Why Did They Face East?]; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says The Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears? "For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap; He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, till they present right offerings to The Lord." (Malachi 3:1-3 RSV)

Fact Finder: At The Transfiguration, as witnessed by Peter, James, and John (see The Inner Circle), did Jesus' clothing appear brighter "as no fuller on earth could bleach them"?
Mark 9:3


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