“And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem” (v2). The resettling of Judah and Jerusalem was a long, difficult, dangerous task. Most people preferred to cultivate “their own property” (v3) outside Jerusalem, but it was important for the city to be inhabited. Some men “willingly offered” to move their families into the city, and others were chosen by lot (v1). It wasn’t enough for the returned exiles to protect or invest in their own land; renewal required people to come together.
“All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were 468 valiant men” (v6). Self-centeredness is easy; giving up our rights in order to serve and bless others requires courage.