”Now the leaders of the people dwelt at Jerusalem; the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to dwell in Jerusalem, the holy city, and nine-tenths were to dwell in other cities. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem.”
Choosing to live in Jerusalem is a sacrificial move which displays a love for the Lord and His people. The ones willing to live in Jerusalem are risking their lives since the city of Jerusalem is constantly under the evil plots and attacks by their enemies. They are also giving up the opportunity to harvest land by not being in the country.
The priests, Levites, and the Nethinim are responsible for the care of the new temple. The priests are the descendants of Aaron, and they perform the sacrifices and tend to the Holy Place in the temple. The Levites have various positions such as singers, musicians, teachers, guards, etc. The Nethinim are the temple assistants. Research suggests the Nethinim were likely non-Israelite captives that were spared but assigned to the work of the temple, just as the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:26-27) whom King David organized into a class of people to perform the work of the temple (Ezra 8:20). So the care of the second temple is structured in the same manner King David established with the first temple.
We also see once again that the Lord always keeps His word. Remember in the wilderness, as a result of the Balaam and Balak encounter, the Lord told Phinehas, Eleazar’s son, that his descendants would have a perpetual priesthood after Phinehas showed his zeal for the Lord by killing Zimri and Cozbi (Numbers 25). Today we see the Lord honored him – “And Phinehas the son of Eleazar had been the officer over them in the past; the Lord was with him.” And just as the Lord was with His people in the past, He will be the same God to them in the present.
Tomorrow there is a dedication for the wall of Jerusalem, and Nehemiah returns to Artaxerxes king of Babylon. Will Nehemiah remain in Babylon? Keep reading to find out. (Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Chronicles 9:1-34)