Though the temple had been rebuilt and the city wall repaired, Jerusalem remained an unattractive place to live (cf.2:3, 17), and the bulk of the people preferred to live in the country. By what two methods (verses 1, 2) were the number of inhabitants in the city increased? Are you willing to volunteer to serve in the place of greatest need? Cf. Is.6:8.
Verses 3-24 give a list of those who dwelt in Jerusalem, in the following categories: (a) heads of families of the tribe of Judah (4-6) and (b) of the tribe of Benjamin (7-9); (c) officials of the temple-priests (10-14), Levites (15-19), other attendants, including singers (20-24). Try to picture the life of the city. Observe the prominence given to the house of God and its worship. Others helped in other ways, and some of them are described as ‘able men’ (literally ‘men of strength and force’). Are you playing your part in the community to which you belong, helping it to become strong? Cf. Eccles. 9:10a; 1 Cor. 15:58.