Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem
These are the words of the Lord, not to the prophet only, but to any other, who thought fit to look into the reasons of the Lord's dealing in a way of judgment with the people of the Jews; these he would have go through the whole city of Jerusalem, every street of it, and that backwards and forwards, not once only, but over and over again: and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof;
where there is commonly the greatest concourse of people; here he would have them look out diligently, observe and take cognizance of the persons they should meet with in such places: if ye can find a man;
that is, as the Targum adds, whose works are good, and as it is afterwards explained; for as yet the city was not desolate, so as that there was no man dwelling in it, as it was foretold it should be, ( Jeremiah 4:25 Jeremiah 4:29 ) . It is reported F15 of Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher, that he lighted up a candle in the daytime, and went through the streets with it; and, being asked the reason of it, said, I seek a man; that is, a man of virtue, honour, and honesty; by which he would be understood, that such were very rare: and so it follows, if there be any that executeth judgment;
in the public courts of judicature; or in private, between man and man: that seeketh the truth;
of doctrine and worship, that seeks to speak it, and maintain it; who is true to his word, and faithful to his promises; but was not one such to be found? were there not the Prophet Jeremiah, and Baruch, and some others? the answer of Kimchi's father is, that such were not to be found in the streets and broad places, where the direction is to seek, because such were hidden in their own houses for fear of wicked men; others think that the meaning is, that there were none to be found to make up the hedge, or stand in the gap for the land, and to intercede for them, as in ( Ezekiel 22:30 ) , and others are of opinion that the Lord speaks of men in public offices, as judges, priests, and prophets, who were grown so corrupt, as that a good man was not to be found among them: but it seems rather to design the body of the people, and the sense to be, that an upright faithful man was rare to be found; and that, could there be found but a few of that sort, the Lord would spare the city for their sake, as in the case of Sodom, ( Genesis 18:32 ) and so it follows, and I will pardon it;
the city of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it; so the Targum, Septuagint, and Arabic versions render it, "them".