The old cult of sacred stones and trees by an easy transition became cross-worship, but a cross was not sacred until the Christ had been, by priestly prayer and invocation, transferred into it.
The revelation thus looked for may be found in natural omens, in the priestly lot or some similar sacral oracle, or, finally, in the words of a seer who is held to be in closer contact with the deity than common men.
The development of the priestly code of legislation (Priestercodex) was a gradual process, and probably occupied a considerable part of the 5th century B.C. The Hebrew race now definitely entered upon the new path of organized Jewish legalism which had been originally marked out for it by Ezekiel in the preceding century.
The High Priest at such a moment seemed to embody all the glory of the nation, as the kings had done of old, and when the time came to strike a successful blow for freedom it was a priestly house that led the nation to the victory which united in one person the functions of High Priest and prince.
Already in the later Avesta he has become a half-mythical figure, the last in the series of heroes of east Iranian legend, in the arrangement of which series priestly influence is unmistakably evident.
Each was an independent establishment controlled entirely by its own abbot and apparently divided into two sections, one priestly and the other lay and even marriedAt St Andrews about the year lioo there were thirteen Culdeesholding office by hereditary tenure and paying more regard tQ their own prosperity and aggrandizement than to the services of the church or the needs of the populace.
On the death of Nerses the right of saying grace at the royal meals, which was the essence of the catholicate, was transferred by the king, in despite of the Greeks, to the priestly family of Albianus, and thenceforth no Armenian catholicus went to Caesarea for ordination.
The Levites who had been idolatrous are punished by exclusion from the proper priestly work, and take the subordinate offices which the uncircumcised and polluted foreigners had formerly filled, while the sons of Zadok, who had remained faithful, are henceforth the legitimate priests, the only descendants of Levi who are allowed to minister unto Yahweh (Ezek.
Yet it is clear from the book of Genesis alone that in the age of Priestly writers and compilers there were other phases of thought.
A still more vital contrast occurs concerning the place of sacrificing the Passover; as enjoined in Deuteronomy this is to be by the males of the family at Jerusalem, whereas both in the presumably earlier Yahwist and in the later Priestly Code the whole household joins in the festival which can be celebrated wherever the Israelites are settled.