“Satan standing at his right hand to be an adversary to him.” This “Satan” is the Satan from Job 1, the Devil, the evil spirit who has been the constant adversary of God. This phrase is one of the times when transliterating the title “Satan” from the Hebrew takes away some of the punch and meaning of the original text. Also, the Hebrew text actually reads, “the satan.” The word satan in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek means “adversary,” and a more literal translation of this phrase would be, “And he showed me Joshua…and the Adversary standing at his right hand to be an adversary to him.” Although translating the literal Hebrew “the Adversary” as “Satan” makes the English reading clearer to most readers, we are in danger of losing the fact that God is revealing to us that the Devil always acts out of his nature: one of his “names” is “the Adversary” and he always is and always will be an adversary to God.
Satan and his followers are evil and hurtful, and the wise Christian keeps a wary eye out for them. Satan’s followers carry out the works of Satan (John 8:44; Acts 13:10) and often come in sheep’s clothing and are disguised as servants of righteousness (Matt. 7:15; 2 Cor. 11:13-15). But if we keep our eye on the fruit they produce, we will know them (Matt. 7:16, 20).
[For more on the names God gives to the Devil, see Appendix 14, “Names of the Devil”].