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Zechariah 3:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And he showed me Joshua the high priest - The Angel of the Lord is the Messiah, as we have seen before; Joshua, the high priest, may here represent the whole Jewish people; and Satan, the grand accuser of the brethren. What the subject of dispute was, we perhaps learn from Judges 1:9. Michael and Satan disputed about the body of Moses. This could not refer to the natural body of the Jewish lawgiver, which had been dead about owe thousand years; it must therefore refer to that body of laws given to the Jews by Moses, for the breach of which Satan, who was their tempter to disobedience, now comes forward as their accuser; that, exciting the justice of God against them, they may be all brought to perdition. There is a paronomasia here: -

Satan standing at his right hand to resist him - שטן Satan signifies an adversary. לשטנו lesiteno, to be his adversary, or accuser.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And He - God, (for the office of the attendant angel was to explain, not to show the visions) “showed me Joshua the high priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord;” probably to be judged by him; as in the New Testament, “to stand before the Son of Man;” for although “standing before,” whether in relation to man or God,, expresses attendance upon, yet here it appears only as a condition, contemporaneous with that of Satan‘s, to accuse him. Although, moreover, the Angel speaks with authority, yet God‘s Presence in him is not spoken of so distinctly, that the high priest would be exhibited as standing before him, as in his office before God.

And Satan - Etymologically, the enemy, as, in the New Testament, “your adversary the devil” 1 Peter 5:8, etymologically, the accuser. It is a proper name of the Evil one, yet its original meaning, “the enemy, was not lost. Here, as in Job, his malice is shown in accusation; “the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, day and night” Revelation 12:10. In Job Job 1:8-11; Job 2:3-5, the accusations were calumnious; here, doubtless, true. For he accused Job of what would have been plain apostacy Job 1:11; Job 2:5; Joshua and Zerubbabel had shared, or given way to, the remissness of the people, as to the rebuilding of the temple and the full restoration of the worship of God Ezra 3:1-13; 4. For this, Haggai had reproved the people, through them Haggai 1:1-11. Satan had then a real charge, on which to implead them. Since also the whole series of visions relates to the restoration from the captivity, the guilt, for which Satan impleads him with Jerusalem and Jerusalem in him, includes the whole guilt, which had rested upon them, so that for a time God had seemed to have cast “away His people” Romans 11:1. Satan “stands at his right hand,” the place of a protector Psalm 16:8; Psalm 109:31; Psalm 121:5; Psalm 142:4, to show that he had none to save him, and that himself was victorious.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The angel showed Joshua, the high priest, to Zechariah, in a vision. Guilt and corruption are great discouragements when we stand before God. By the guilt of the sins committed by us, we are liable to the justice of God; by the power of sin that dwells in us, we are hateful to the holiness of God. Even God's Israel are in danger on these accounts; but they have relief from Jesus Christ, who is made of God to us both righteousness and sanctification. Joshua, the high priest, is accused as a criminal, but is justified. When we stand before God, to minister to him, or stand up for God, we must expect to meet all the resistance Satan's subtlety and malice can give. Satan is checked by one that has conquered him, and many times silenced him. Those who belong to Christ, will find him ready to appear for them, when Satan appears most strongly against them. A converted soul is a brand plucked out of the fire by a miracle of free grace, therefore shall not be left a prey to Satan. Joshua appears as one polluted, but is purified; he represents the Israel of God, who are all as an unclean thing, till they are washed and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. Israel now were free from idolatry, but there were many things amiss in them. There were spiritual enemies warring against them, more dangerous than any neighbouring nations. Christ loathed the filthiness of Joshua's garments, yet did not put him away. Thus God by his grace does with those whom he chooses to be priests to himself. The guilt of sin is taken away by pardoning mercy, and the power of it is broken by renewing grace. Thus Christ washes those from their sins in his own blood, whom he makes kings and priests to our God. Those whom Christ makes spiritual priests, are clothed with the spotless robe of his righteousness, and appear before God in that; and with the graces of his Spirit, which are ornaments to them. The righteousness of saints, both imputed and implanted, is the fine linen, clean and white, with which the bride, the Lamb's wife, is arrayed, Re 19:8. Joshua is restored to former honours and trusts. The crown of the priesthood is put on him. When the Lord designs to restore and revive religion, he stirs up prophets and people to pray for it.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 37

The scene of Satan's accusation was presented before the prophet. He says, “He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” Jesus is our great High Priest in heaven. And what is He doing? He is making intercession and atonement for his people who believe in Him. Through His imputed righteousness, they are accepted of God as those who are manifesting to the world that they acknowledge allegiance to God, keeping all His commandments. Satan is full of malignant hatred against them, and manifests to them the same spirit that he manifested to Jesus Christ when He was upon earth. When Jesus was before Pilate, the Roman ruler sought to release Him, and desired that the people should choose to release Jesus from the ordeal through which He was about to pass. He presented before the clamoring multitude the Son of God and the criminal Barabbas, and inquired. “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” “They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let Him be crucified?” TM 37.1

The world was stirred by the enmity of Satan, and when asked to choose between the Son of God and the criminal Barabbas, they chose a robber rather than Jesus. The ignorant multitudes were led, by the deceptive reasonings of those in high position, to reject the Son of God, and choose a robber and murderer in His stead. Let us all remember that we are still in a world where Jesus, the Son of God, was rejected and crucified, where the guilt of despising Christ and preferring a robber rather than the spotless Lamb of God still rests. Unless we individually repent toward God because of transgression of His law, and exercise faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, whom the world has rejected, we shall lie under the full condemnation that the action of choosing Barabbas instead of Christ merited. The whole world stands charged today with the deliberate rejection and murder of the Son of God. The word bears record that Jews and Gentiles, kings, governors, ministers, priests, and people—all classes and sects who reveal the same spirit of envy, hatred, prejudice, and unbelief manifested by those who put to death the Son of God—would act the same part, were the opportunity granted, as did the Jews and people of the time of Christ. They would be partakers of the same spirit that demanded the death of the Son of God. TM 38.1

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7 (EGW), 948

This is represented as the pardoning blood, inseparably connected with the resurrection and life of our Redeemer, illustrated by the ever-flowing stream that proceeds from the throne of God, the water of the river of life (Letter 87, 1894). 7BC 948.1

1 (Romans 8:34; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:18; 7:25; 9:24; see EGW on John 17:5, 24). Fenced From Satan's Attacks—“If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.” How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan's fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not our Saviour. Christ prayed for us. He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, He knows how to succor those who are tempted. 7BC 948.2

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 314.3

Publications That Proclaim the Last Message—In all our cities, workers are to be sent out to sow the seeds of truth through the medium of publications that proclaim the last message of mercy to a fallen world. But Satan is standing at the right hand of the angel of the Lord, to resist him and to hinder the work that God has outlined should be done.—Letter 208, 1906. PM 314.3

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Ellen G. White
Our High Calling, 13.4

Christ is our redeemer. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. He is the fountain in which we may be washed and cleansed from all impurity. He is the costly sacrifice that has been given for the reconciliation of man. The universe of heaven, the worlds unfallen, the fallen world, and the confederacy of evil cannot say that God could do more for the salvation of man than He has done. Never can His gift be surpassed, never can He display a richer depth of love. Calvary represents His crowning work.... The Lord would have His followers enraptured with God through the knowledge of His paternal character. OHC 13.4

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