“And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten remained in the other towns” (11:1). Now that Jerusalem had walls and a repaired Temple, it needed more people. Most of the returned exiles lived out on their farms, and moving was a great sacrifice. Yet this was part of the re-arranging of lives that followed hearing God’s Word and repentance (ch 8). The people also pledged to give regular offerings (ch 10) and separate themselves from idol-worshipers.
Real repentance produces a willingness to make changes in our lives. “And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem” (11:2).