Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin,
&c.] Princes of these tribes, and heads of families in them, and of some other tribes too, though chiefly of these, as appears from ( 1 Chronicles 9:3 ) ,
and the priests and the Levites:
whose presence was necessary both to direct in the building of the temple, and to animate to it, and to set the vessels in their proper places; and particularly to assist in the setting up of the altar, and to offer sacrifices on it, which was the first thing done when come to Jerusalem, ( Ezra 3:2 Ezra 3:3 )
with all them whose spirit God raised to go up, to build the house of
the Lord, which is in Jerusalem;
God, who "works" in men "both to will and to do", wrought powerfully by his Spirit on their hearts, inclined their minds, and made them willing to go up, and set about this work; and such a divine, powerful, and efficacious operation upon them, was necessary to engage them in it, since the embarrassments, difficulties, discouragements, and objections, were many: some of them were well settled, and had contracted a pleasing acquaintance with many of their neighbours, and indeed to most of them it was their native place; and as for Judea and Jerusalem, they knew nothing of but what their fathers had told them; the way to it unknown, long, and dangerous, at least fatiguing and troublesome to their wives and children; and Judea and Jerusalem desolate and in ruins, and in the hands of enemies, from whom they had reason to expect trouble.