Isaiah 21:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A dire vision has been shown to me: The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot. Elam, attack! Media, lay siege! I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.

New Living Translation
I see a terrifying vision: I see the betrayer betraying, the destroyer destroying. Go ahead, you Elamites and Medes, attack and lay siege. I will make an end to all the groaning Babylon caused.

English Standard Version
A stern vision is told to me; the traitor betrays, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam; lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end.

New American Standard Bible
A harsh vision has been shown to me; The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys. Go up, Elam, lay siege, Media; I have made an end of all the groaning she has caused.

King James Bible
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A troubling vision is declared to me:" The treacherous one acts treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Advance, Elam! Lay siege, you Medes! I will put an end to all her groaning."

International Standard Version
A dire vision has been announced to me: the traitor betrays, and the plunderer takes loot. Get up, Elam! Attack, Media! I am putting a stop to all the groaning she has caused.

NET Bible
I have received a distressing message: "The deceiver deceives, the destroyer destroys. Attack, you Elamites! Lay siege, you Medes! I will put an end to all the groaning!"

New Heart English Bible
A grievous vision is declared to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; attack. I have stopped all of Media's sighing.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I was shown a harsh vision. The traitor betrays. The destroyer destroys. Go to war, Elam! Surround them, Media! I will put an end to all the groaning.

JPS Tanakh 1917
A grievous vision is declared unto me: 'The treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam! besiege, O Media! All the sighing thereof have I made to cease.'

New American Standard 1977
A harsh vision has been shown to me;
            The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys.
            Go up, Elam, lay siege, Media;
            I have made an end of all the groaning she has caused.

Jubilee Bible 2000
A grievous vision is shown unto me. For one who is treacherous, another who deals treacherously, and for one destroyer, another destroyer. Rise up, Elam; besiege Media; all the sighing thereof I have made to cease.

King James 2000 Bible
A distressing vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all its sighing have I made to cease.

American King James Version
A grievous vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

American Standard Version
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous man dealeth treacherously, and the destroyer destroyeth. Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A grievous vision is told me: he that is unfaithful dealeth unfaithfully : and he that is a spoiler, spoileth. Go up, O Elam, besiege, O Mede: I have made all the mourning thereof to cease.

Darby Bible Translation
A grievous vision is declared unto me: the treacherous dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, Elam! besiege, Media! All the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

English Revised Version
A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

Webster's Bible Translation
A grievous vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler plundereth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all her sighing have I made to cease.

World English Bible
A grievous vision is declared to me. The treacherous man deals treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam; attack! I have stopped all of Media's sighing.

Young's Literal Translation
A hard vision hath been declared to me, The treacherous dealer is dealing treacherously, And the destroyer is destroying. Go up, O Elam, besiege, O Media, All its sighing I have caused to cease.
Study Bible
Babylon is Fallen
1The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As windstorms in the Negev sweep on, It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land. 2A harsh vision has been shown to me; The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys. Go up, Elam, lay siege, Media; I have made an end of all the groaning she has caused. 3For this reason my loins are full of anguish; Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor. I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see.…
Cross References
2 Kings 17:6
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

Psalm 25:3
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Psalm 60:3
You have made Your people experience hardship; You have given us wine to drink that makes us stagger.

Psalm 119:158
I behold the treacherous and loathe them, Because they do not keep Your word.

Isaiah 22:6
Elam took up the quiver With the chariots, infantry and horsemen; And Kir uncovered the shield.

Isaiah 24:16
From the ends of the earth we hear songs, "Glory to the Righteous One," But I say, "Woe to me! Woe to me! Alas for me! The treacherous deal treacherously, And the treacherous deal very treacherously."

Isaiah 33:1
Woe to you, O destroyer, While you were not destroyed; And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him. As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed; As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.

Jeremiah 49:34
That which came as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:

Daniel 5:9
Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, his face grew even paler, and his nobles were perplexed.

Daniel 5:28
"'PERES '-- your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians."
Treasury of Scripture

A grievous vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer deals treacherously, and the spoiler spoils. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.

grievous. Heb. hard

Psalm 60:3 You have showed your people hard things: you have made us to drink …

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding gives favor: but the way of transgressors is hard.

the treacherous

Isaiah 24:16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory …

Isaiah 33:1 Woe to you that spoil, and you were not spoiled; and deal treacherously…

1 Samuel 24:13 As said the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceeds from the …

Jeremiah 51:44,48,49,53 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his …

Revelation 13:10 He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills …

go up

Isaiah 13:2-4,17,18 Lift you up a banner on the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, …

Jeremiah 50:14,34 Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all you that …

Jeremiah 49:34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam …

Jeremiah 51:11,27,28 Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD has raised up …

Daniel 5:28 PERES; Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

Daniel 8:20 The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

all the

Isaiah 14:1-3 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, …

Isaiah 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with …

Isaiah 47:6 I was wroth with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and given …

Psalm 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now …

Psalm 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you; according to the …

Psalm 137:1-3 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, we wept, when we …

Jeremiah 31:11,12,20,25 For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of …

Jeremiah 45:3 You did say, Woe is me now! for the LORD has added grief to my sorrow; …

Jeremiah 51:3,4 Against him that bends let the archer bend his bow, and against him …

Lamentations 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before you; and do to them, as you …

Micah 7:8-10 Rejoice not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when …

Zechariah 1:15,16 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: …

(2) A grievous vision . . .--The verse contains, as it were, the three tableaux that came in succession before the prophet's gaze: (1) The treacherous dealer, the Assyro-Chaldan power, spoiling and oppressing, breaking treaties, and, as its kings boasted (Habakkuk 2:5; Records of the Past, vii. 42, 44), "removing landmarks." (2) The summons to Elam and Media to put an end to this tyranny. (3) The oppressed peoples ceasing to sigh, and rejoicing in their liberation.

Elam appears here as combined with Media, which is named in Isaiah 13:17 as the only destroyer of Babylon, and this has been urged as evidence of a later date. As a matter of fact, however, Sargon at this very time was carrying on a fierce war against Elam (Records of the Past, cvii. 41-49) as well as against Media (ibid, p. 37). In Ezekiel 32:24, Elam is numbered among the extinct nations, but the name, at all events, re-appears as applied to the Persians, though they were of a distinct race. It was, even as a mere forecast, perfectly natural that the two should be associated together as the future destroyers of the Nineveh and Babel empires, which to the prophet's eye were identical in character and policy. The advance described as "from the wilderness" implies a march of part at least of the Medo-Persian army down the Choaspes and into the lowland of Chuzistan, bordering on the great Arabian desert.

Verse 2. - A grievous vision; literally, a hard vision; not, however, "hard of interpretation" (Kay), but rather "hard to be borne," "grievous," "calamitous." The treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously; rather, perhaps, the robber robs (Knobel); or, the violent man uses violence (Rosenmüller). The idea of faithlessness passes out of the Hebrew boged occasionally, and is unsuitable here, more especially if it is the army of Cyrus that is intended. Go up, O Elam. The discovery that Cyrus, at the time of his conquest of Babylon, Bore the title of "King of Ansan," not "King of Persia," coupled with the probability that "Ansan" was a part of Elam, lends a peculiar interest to these words. Isaiah could not describe Cyrus as "King of Persia," and at the same time be intelligible to his contemporaries, since Persia was a country utterly unknown to them. In using the term "Elam" instead, he uses that of a country known to the Hebrews (Genesis 14:1), adjoining Persia, and, at the time of his expedition against Babylon, subject to Cyrus. Besiege, O Media. Having given "Elam" the first place, the prophet assigns to Media the second. Eleven years before he attacked Babylon, Cyrus had made war upon Astyages (Istuvegu), King of the Medes, had captured him, and become king of the nation, with scarcely any opposition (see the 'Cylinder of Nabonidus'). Hence the Medes would naturally form an important portion of the force which he led against Babylon. All the sighing thereof have I made to cease. The "sighing" caused by Babylon to the nations, to the captives, and to the kings whose prison-doors were kept closed (Isaiah 14:17), God has in his counsels determined to bring to an end. A grievous vision is declared unto me,.... The prophet; meaning the vision of Babylon's destruction, which was "hard", as the word signifies, and might seem harsh and cruel; not to him, nor to the Jews, but to the Chaldeans:

the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth; that is, according to Jarchi, one treacherous dealer deals treacherously with another, and one spoiler spoils another; the Medes and Persians deal treacherously with and spoil the Babylonians, who had dealt treacherously with and spoiled other nations: and to this sense some read the words, "the treacherous dealer hath found a treacherous dealer, and the spoiler one that spoileth" (n): some take it to be a compellation of the Medes and Persians, calling upon them, under these characters, to go up and besiege Babylon, as, "O treacherous dealer, O spoiler" (o); though the words may be understood of the perfidy and treachery of the Babylonians, of which they had been frequently guilty, and which is given as a reason of their fall and ruin; or rather they suggest the treacherous means by which they should be ruined, even by some from among themselves; particularly, history (p) informs us, that Gobrias and Gadates, two noblemen of the king of Babylon, being used ill by him, revolted from him, and joined with Cyrus; and when the river Euphrates was drained, went at the head of his army in two parties, and guided them into the city, and took it; or rather Belshazzar king of Babylon himself is meant, who acted, and continued to act, most impiously and wickedly: and therefore,

go up, O Elam; or Elamites, as the Targum and Septuagint; see Acts 2:9 these were Persians, so called from Elam, a province in Persia; who are here called upon by the Lord of armies, through the mouth of the prophet, to go up to war against Babylon; and these are mentioned first, because Cyrus, who commanded the whole army, was a Persian: or if Elam is taken for a province, which was indeed subject to Babylon, of which Shushan was the capital city, Daniel 8:2 the governor of it, Abradates, revolted from the Babylonians, and joined Cyrus, and fought with him (q):

besiege, O Media; or, O ye Medes, join with the Persians in the siege of Babylon; as they did:

all the sighing thereof have I made to cease; either of the army of the Medes and Persians, who, by reason of long and tedious marches, frequent battles, and hard sieges, groaned and sighed; but now it would be over with them, when Babylon was taken; or of the Babylonians themselves, who would have no mercy shown them, nor have any time for sighing, being cut off suddenly, and in a moment; or rather of other people oppressed by them, and particularly the Lord's people the Jews, who had been in captivity for the space of seventy years, during which they had sighed and groaned, because of the hardships they endured; but now sighing would be at an end, and they should have deliverance, as they had, by Cyrus the Persian. The sighing is not that with which they sighed, but which they caused in others.

(n) "praevaricator prevaricatorem et vastator, vastatorem sub. inveniet"; so some in Vatablus; also Gataker. (o) "O perfide, perfidus; O vastator, vastator", De Dieu. (p) Xenophon. Cyropaedia, l. 4. c. 24. l. 5. c. 11. & l. 7. c. 23. (q) Ib. l. 6. sect. 7, 8, 9, 26. & l. 7. sect. 4, 8. 2. dealeth treacherously—referring to the military stratagem employed by Cyrus in taking Babylon. It may be translated, "is repaid with treachery"; then the subject of the verb is Babylon. She is repaid in her own coin; Isa 33:1; Hab 2:8, favor this.

Go up—Isaiah abruptly recites the order which he hears God giving to the Persians, the instruments of His vengeance (Isa 13:3, 17).

Elam—a province of Persia, the original place of their settlement (Ge 10:22), east of the Euphrates. The name "Persia" was not in use until the captivity; it means a "horseman"; Cyrus first trained the Persians in horsemanship. It is a mark of authenticity that the name is not found before Daniel and Ezekiel [Bochart].

thereof—the "sighing" caused by Babylon (Isa 14:7, 8).21:1-10 Babylon was a flat country, abundantly watered. The destruction of Babylon, so often prophesied of by Isaiah, was typical of the destruction of the great foe of the New Testament church, foretold in the Revelation. To the poor oppressed captives it would be welcome news; to the proud oppressors it would be grievous. Let this check vain mirth and sensual pleasures, that we know not in what heaviness the mirth may end. Here is the alarm given to Babylon, when forced by Cyrus. An ass and a camel seem to be the symbols of the Medes and Persians. Babylon's idols shall be so far from protecting her, that they shall be broken down. True believers are the corn of God's floor; hypocrites are but as chaff and straw, with which the wheat is now mixed, but from which it shall be separated. The corn of God's floor must expect to be threshed by afflictions and persecutions. God's Israel of old was afflicted. Even then God owns it is his still. In all events concerning the church, past, present, and to come, we must look to God, who has power to do any thing for his church, and grace to do every thing that is for her good.
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OT Prophets: Isaiah 21:2 A grievous vision is declared to me (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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