FULLER'S FIELD, THE
fool'-ers feld, (sedheh khobhec):
In all references occurs "the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller's field"; this must have been a well-known landmark at Jerusalem in the time of the monarchy. Here stood Rabshakeh in his interview with Eliakim and others on the wall (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 36:2); clearly the highway was within easy earshot of the walls. Here Isaiah met Ahaz and Shear-jashub his son by command of Yahweh (Isaiah 7:3). An old view placed these events somewhere near the present Jaffa Gate, as here runs an aqueduct from the Birket Mamilla outside the walls of the Birket Hamam el Batrah, inside the walls; the former was considered the "Upper Pool" and is traditionally called the "Upper Pool" of Gihon. But these pools and this aqueduct are certainly of later date (see JERUSALEM). Another view puts this highway to the North side of the city, where there are extensive remains of a "conduit" running in from the North. In favor of this is the fact that the North was the usual side for attack and the probable position for Rabshakeh to gather his army; it also suits the conditions of Isaiah 7:3. Further, Josephus (BJ, V, iv, 2) in his description of the walls places a "Monument of the Fuller" at the Northeast corner, and the name "fuller" survived in connection with the North wall to the 7th century, as the pilgrim Arculf mentions a gate. West of the Damascus gate called Porta Villae Fullonis. The most probable view, however, is that this conduit was one connected with Gihon, the present "Virgin's Fountain" (see GIHON). This was well known as "the upper spring" (2 Chronicles 32:30), and the pool, which, we know, was at the source, would probably be called the "Upper Pool." In this neighborhood--or lower down the valley near En-rogel, which is supposed by some to mean "the spring of the fuller"--is the natural place to expect "fulling." Somewhere along the Kidron valley between the Virgin's Fountain and the junction with the Tyropeon was the probable scene of the interview with Rabshakeh; the conversation may quite probably have occurred across the valley, the Assyrian general standing on some part of the cliffs now covered by the village of Siloam.
E. W. G. Masterman
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