XX. (105) The regulations, therefore, are laid down with precision in this manner for the high priest, so that he is not allowed either to marry a widow, nor one who is left desolate after the death of the man to whom she has been espoused, nor one who has been divorced from a husband who is still alive, in order that the sacred seed may be sown for the first time in a field which is hitherto untrodden and pure, and that his offspring may have no admixture of the blood of any other house. And in the second place, in order that the pair coming together with souls which have as yet known no defilement or perversion, may easily form their dispositions and characters in a virtuous manner. For the minds of virgins are easily attracted and drawn over to virtue, being exceedingly ready to be taught. (106) But the woman who has had experience of another husband is very naturally less inclined to obedience and to instruction, inasmuch as she has not a soul perfectly pure, like thoroughly smooth wax, so as to receive distinctly the doctrines which are to be impressed upon it, but one which is to a certain degree rough from the impressions which have been already stamped upon it, which are difficult to be effaced, and so remain, and do not easily receive any other impression, or if they do they render it confused by the irregularity of their own surface. (107) Let the high priest, therefore, take a pure virgin to be his wife; I say a virgin, meaning not only one with whom no other man has even been connected, but one in connection with whom no other man has ever been named in reference to the agreement of marriage, even though her body may be pure.
XXI. (108) But besides this, injunctions are given to the particular and inferior priests concerning their marriages, which are the very same in most points, which are given to those who have the supreme priesthood. But they are permitted with impunity to marry not only maidens but widows also; not, indeed, all widows, but those whose husbands are dead. For the law thinks it fitting to remove all quarrels and disputes from the life of the priests. And if they had husbands living there very likely might be disputes from the jealousy which is caused by the love of men for women. But when the first husband is dead, then with him the hostility which could be felt towards the second husband dies also. (109) And even on other accounts he might have thought that the high priest ought to be of superior purity and holiness, as in other matters so also in the connection of marriage, and on this account it may have been that God only allowed the high priest to marry a virgin. But to the priests of the second rank he remitted something of the rigour of his regulations concerning the connection with women, permitting them to marry women who have made trials of other husbands.