Isaiah 34:11
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New International Version
The desert owl and screech owl will possess it; the great owl and the raven will nest there. God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation.

New Living Translation
It will be haunted by the desert owl and the screech owl, the great owl and the raven. For God will measure that land carefully; he will measure it for chaos and destruction.

English Standard Version
But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.

New American Standard Bible
But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness.

King James Bible
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The desert owl and the screech owl will possess it, and the great owl and the raven will dwell there. The LORD will stretch out a measuring line and a plumb line over her for her destruction and chaos.

International Standard Version
"But hawks and hedgehogs will possess it; owls and ravens will nest in it. God will stretch out over it a measuring line, and chaos, and plumb lines of emptiness, and its nobles.

NET Bible
Owls and wild animals will live there, all kinds of wild birds will settle in it. The LORD will stretch out over her the measuring line of ruin and the plumb line of destruction.

New Heart English Bible
But the pelican and the porcupine will possess it. The owl and the raven will dwell in it. He will stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Pelicans and herons will take possession of the land. Owls and crows will live there. He will stretch the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of destruction over it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
But the pelican and the bittern shall possess it, And the owl and the raven shall dwell therein; And He shall stretch over it The line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness.

New American Standard 1977
But pelican and hedgehog shall possess it,
            And owl and raven shall dwell in it;
            And He shall stretch over it the line of desolation
            And the plumb line of emptiness.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it; and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion and the level of desolation.

King James 2000 Bible
But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

American King James Version
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out on it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

American Standard Version
But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein: and he will stretch over it the line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The bittern and ericius shall possess it: and the ibis and the raven shall dwell in it: and a line shall be stretched out upon it, to bring it to nothing, and a plummet, unto desolation.

Darby Bible Translation
And the pelican and the bittern shall possess it, and the great owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And he shall stretch out upon it the line of waste, and the plummets of emptiness.

English Revised Version
But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it; and the owl and the raven shall dwell therein: and he shall stretch over it the line of confusion, and the plummet of emptiness.

Webster's Bible Translation
But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

World English Bible
But the pelican and the porcupine will possess it. The owl and the raven will dwell in it. He will stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness.

Young's Literal Translation
And possess her do pelican and hedge-hog, And owl and raven dwell in her, And He hath stretched out over her A line of vacancy, and stones of emptiness.
Study Bible
God's Judgments on the Nations
10It will not be quenched night or day; Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation it will be desolate; None will pass through it forever and ever. 11But pelican and hedgehog will possess it, And owl and raven will dwell in it; And He will stretch over it the line of desolation And the plumb line of emptiness. 12Its nobles-- there is no one there Whom they may proclaim king-- And all its princes will be nothing.…
Cross References
Revelation 18:2
And he cried out in a mighty voice: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a lair of demons. She is a haunt for every unclean spirit, a hideout for every unclean bird, and a hold for every detestable beast.

2 Kings 21:13
'I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.

Psalm 102:6
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places.

Isaiah 13:21
But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there.

Isaiah 14:23
"I will also make it a possession for the hedgehog and swamps of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD of hosts.

Isaiah 24:10
The city of chaos is broken down; Every house is shut up so that none may enter.

Isaiah 34:17
He has cast the lot for them, And His hand has divided it to them by line. They shall possess it forever; From generation to generation they will dwell in it.

Lamentations 2:8
The LORD determined to destroy The wall of the daughter of Zion. He has stretched out a line, He has not restrained His hand from destroying, And He has caused rampart and wall to lament; They have languished together.

Amos 7:8
The LORD said to me, "What do you see, Amos?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold I am about to put a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.

Zephaniah 2:14
Flocks will lie down in her midst, All beasts which range in herds; Both the pelican and the hedgehog Will lodge in the tops of her pillars; Birds will sing in the window, Desolation will be on the threshold; For He has laid bare the cedar work.
Treasury of Scripture

But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out on it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.

cormorant. or, pelican

Isaiah 13:20-22 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelled in from …

Isaiah 14:23 I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: …

Zephaniah 2:14 And flocks shall lie down in the middle of her, all the beasts of the nations…

Revelation 18:2,21-23 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great …

stretch

2 Samuel 8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down …

2 Kings 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet …

Lamentations 2:8 The LORD has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion: …

Malachi 1:3,4 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for …

(11) But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it . . .--The picture of a wild, desolate region, haunted by birds and beasts that shun the abode of men, is a favourite one with Isaiah (comp. Isaiah 13:20-22; Isaiah 14:23), and is reproduced by Zephaniah (Zephaniah 2:14). Naturalists agree in translating, The pelicans and hedgehogs; the owl, and the raven.

The line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness . . .--The "line" and the "stones" are those of the builder's plumb-line, used, as in 2Kings 21:13; Amos 7:7-9; Lamentations 2:8, for the work, not of building up, but for the destroying as with a scientific completeness. "Confusion" and "emptiness," are the tohu v'bohu, "without form and void" of the primeval chaos (Genesis 1:1).

Verse 11. - The cormorant and the bittern shall possess it. Compare the prophecy against Babylon in Isaiah 14:23. The Hebrew word translated "cormorant," is now generally regarded as designating the "pelican," while the one rendered "bittern" is thought by some to mean "hedgehog" or "porcupine." Animals that delight in solitude are certainly meant, but the particular species is, more or less, matter of conjecture. He shall stretch out upon it; rather, and one shall stretch out upon it. The verb is used impersonally. The line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness; rather, the line of desolation, and the plummet of emptiness (comp. 2 Kings 21:13; Lamentations 2:8; Amos 7:7, 8). The destruction of cities was effected by rule and measure, probably because different portions of the task were assigned to different sets of laborers, and, if the work was to be completely done, it required to be done systematically. Here, the measuring-tape and the plumb-line are to be these of tohu and vohu, or of the eternal chaos out of which God, by his word, produced order (Genesis 1:2). But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it,.... The word for "cormorant" is rendered a "pelican", in Psalm 102:6 they were both unclean fowls according to the law, of which see Leviticus 11:17 and See Gill on Isaiah 14:23,

the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it; which were likewise unclean creatures; and these, with the former, and other creatures after mentioned, delight to dwell in desolate and ruinous places; and so Babylon or Rome being destroyed, will become a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, Revelation 18:2,

and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion and the stones of emptiness; "he", that is, God, as Kimchi interprets it; the allusion is to builders, that make use of the line and plummet, as to build, so to pull down, that they may know what is to be pulled down, and how far they are to go; see 2 Kings 21:13 and hereby it is signified, that as the destruction should be entire, nothing should be left but confusion and emptiness; and all should become "tohu" and "bohu", which are the words used here; and are the same that are used to express the confused chaos, the unformed and empty earth, Genesis 1:2 so likewise that it should be by line and level, by rule and measure; or according to the rules of justice and equity. 11. cormorant—The Hebrew is rendered, in Ps 102:6, "pelican," which is a seafowl, and cannot be meant here: some waterfowl (katta, according to Burckhardt) that tenants desert places is intended.

bittern—rather, "the hedgehog," or "porcupine" [Gesenius] (Isa 14:23).

owl—from its being enumerated among water birds in Le 11:17; De 14:16. Maurer thinks rather the heron or crane is meant; from a Hebrew root, "to blow," as it utters a sound like the blowing of a horn (Re 18:2).

confusion—devastation.

line … stones—metaphor from an architect with line and plummet-stone (see on [756]Isa 18:2; [757]Isa 28:17); God will render to it the exact measure of justice without mercy (Jas 2:13; 2Ki 21:13; La 2:8; Am 7:7, 8).

emptiness—desolation. Edom is now a waste of "stones."34:9-17 Those who aim to ruin the church, can never do that, but will ruin themselves. What dismal changes sin can make! It turns a fruitful land into barrenness, a crowded city into a wilderness. Let us compare all we discover in the book of the Lord, with the dealings of providence around us, that we may be more diligent in seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the mouth of the Lord has commanded, his Spirit will perform. And let us observe how the evidences of the truth continually increase, as one prophecy after another is fulfilled, until these awful scenes bring in more happy days. As Israel was a figure of the Christian church, so the Edomites, their bitter enemies, represent the enemies of the kingdom of Christ. God's Jerusalem may be laid in ruins for a time, but the enemies of the church shall be desolate for ever.
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OT Prophets: Isaiah 34:11 But the pelican and the porcupine will (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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