Topic:A Place of Cleansing
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. Say to him, Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood — because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah.
We are told the precise spot on which God directed the prophet to stand when he made this announcement to the king. You probably read this thinking that it was nothing more than a casual direction God gave to him. But it is very significant. Isaiah was told to go to the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool on the road to the Launderer’s Field; to stand at that very spot and give this announcement to King Ahaz. What is the meaning of that? There at that spot, and only there, the prophet was to inform King Ahaz that he had nothing to fear from these two armies that were threatening the city of Jerusalem. They were only smoldering stubs and were no real threat at all. The account declares that within sixty-five years this deliverance would happen. All this came true, as predicted.
In looking at this passage we must remember the peculiar nature of Isaiah’s commission. In Chapter 6 he was sent to this people with a very strange message. God said to him, Go and speak to this people, but speak in a way that they will hear what you say but they will not hear it, and they will see what you are talking about but they will not perceive it. Here we are given a clue that Isaiah is to prophesy in rather cryptic, double-meaning language.
This word about the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool on the road to the Launderer’s Field is a good example of this. The word pool in Hebrew also means blessing. It is obvious why a pool of water would be called a blessing. In a dry and thirsty land any pool of water would clearly prove to be a blessing. So the word has both meanings. The word upper (the upper pool) means more than a pool located on a higher level. It also means the most high. So what we have as a second meaning is the phrase The blessing of the Most High. This pool is a spring of water, located on the hillside west of the old City of David which flowed down an aqueduct to the city. At the end of it, where it emptied into a small pool, was the spot where the prophet was told to take his stand.
At the same time, that was also the road by which he came there: the road to the Launderer’s Field. A road or highway in Scripture is always an ascent. It is called in Isaiah 35 the highway of holiness, so it has to do with righteousness and moral cleansing. This is also strengthened by the fact that it led to the Launderer’s Field. The field would be at the place of washing. Thus we can see why a pool which was the end of a aqueduct of water, coming down from an upper spring, would also be the place where people washed their clothes. That is where Isaiah was told to stand.
When these meanings are considered we see why the prophet was sent to where these two places met—it was where the upward way of cleansing and of washing, met the downward flow of the channel of the blessings of the Most High. What would that symbolize? From the New Testament, we know it could only describe the Lord Jesus himself. He is the end of the aqueduct, the channel of the blessing of the Most High. He is also the way of cleansing, the upward ascent that brought the prophet to this place. It is all a beautiful poetic description of Jesus himself.
Thank you, Father, for the cleansing that is available in Jesus.
‘When the woes of life o’ertake us’, the Scriptures from start to finish offer the Lord Jesus Christ as the one through whom all blessing flows. Do we trust Him as our number one Source of blessing?