But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess
The word for "cormorant" is rendered a "pelican", in ( Psalms 102:6 ) they were both unclean fowls according to the law, of which see ( Leviticus 11:17 Leviticus 11:18 ) 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
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.