They were unanimous in adopting the idea of a church in which all the members were priests under the Lord Jesus, the One High Priest and Ruler; the officers of which were not mediators between men and God, but preachers of One Mediator, Christ Jesus; not lords over God's heritage, but ensamples to the flock and ministers to render service.
Judah was now a religious community whose representative was the high priest of Jerusalem.
But his successors did not act with similar leniency; when the city was captured by Ptolemy I., king of Egypt, twelve years later, the fortifications were partially demolished and apparently not again restored until the period of the high priest Simon II., who repaired the defences and also the Temple buildings.
Two goats were provided by the ancient Hebrews on the Day of Atonement; the high priest sent one into the desert, after confessing on it the sins of Israel; it was not permitted to run free but was probably cast over a precipice; the other was sacrificed as a sin-offering.
On the great day of atonement the high priest appears in a vicarious and representative capacity, and offers on behalf of the whole nation which he was considered to embody in his sacred person.