21:2 stern vision. The prophet is overwhelmed by what he sees.
betrays . . . destroys. In the course of waging war.
Elam . . . Media. Elam was a major region of Persia. It was allied with Media in 700 b.c. Perhaps as a part of Assyria’s army (5:26 note) Elam helped to conquer Babylon in 689 b.c., as they certainly did in 539 b.c. (11:11; 13:17 and notes).
the sighing. The indefinite subject could refer to the groan of Babylon under Assyrian domination or to the groan of the nations under Babylonian control. The former is more likely, because Babylon rose to power in 605 b.c.