Zechariah 3:1-7 – Satan

BIBLE TEXT

Zechariah 3:1-7

SUMMARY

In the fourth vision, the prophet sees Joshua the high priest facing the angel of the Lord, with Satan at the angel’s side accusing Joshua. The Lord rebukes Satan and commands that Joshua’s filthy clothes be replaced with clean garments and a clean turban for his head.

ANALYSIS

In Genesis 3:1-5, Eve’s tempter is the unnamed “serpent.” In Zechariah the word “Satan” appears with a definitive article, ha-satan, and could be translated as “the adversary” or “the accuser.” The same term appears in the heavenly scene in Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7, where Satan appears among the heavenly beings. In 1 Samuel 29:4 and 1 Kings 11:14, the word refers to a human adversary. In Numbers 22:32, an angel appears “as an adversary” to Balaam. In 1 Chronicles 21:1 (“Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people”), the word is a proper name and is a tempter against God’s will.

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