Horayot 6 - The Sacrifices of the Babylonian Exiles
When, led by Ezra, the Jews returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, they " brought offerings to the God of Israel, twelve bulls... twelve goats...all as burnt offerings to God. "
Incidentally, they were not all "burnt offerings," rather, the goats were sin-offerings. If so, why are they called this? - because the goats were sin-offerings for idol worship, but like the burnt offering, they were not eaten by the priest.
According to Rabbi Yehudah, who says that if some of the tribes sinned, every tribe brings a goat, we understand twelve goats. According to Rabbi Shimon, who says that tribes do not "drag" each other into asking for forgiveness, eleven tribes sinned and brought eleven offerings, and the twelfth was brought by the court. But according to Rabbi Meir, who says that only the court brings the offering, why were twelve offerings required? Rabbi Meir answers that the court sinned, changed its mind, sinned again, changed its mind again, and so on, twelve times.
If, after the mistake of the court, one of the Jews dies, they still bring an offering - since the congregation never dies - but if one of the judges dies, they do not bring an offering.
Art: Jan Victors- Jacob Seeking Forgiveness of Esau