The prophets were trusted and respected by the Persian kings to build the temple. The priests were not. The prophets were the workers who had the physical skills. The priests were the money men. It was during the exile that the division between prophets and priests increased. Their dispute was over who was going to build the temple. Josephus has rewritten this chapter to give the impression that the priests were always powerful and in charge. The Samaritans are fictitiously made the ones who obstructed the work. There would be no altar for burnt offerings and no animal sacrifice. That would all be the creation of one Josephus.
The Jews that left Babylon were not the same as those who were taken into captivity. The prophets had the upper hand. The priests had their tails between their legs.