“When Did Angels Hit the Scene?”


Teaching through the Old Testament, I’m often asked questions to clarify.  Here is an answer to this question:

“When did the angels hit the scene?”

That is a great question.  Scripture does not give specific details concerning the timing of the origin of angels, but we can gather enough information to narrow the time down.

They are not explicity mentioned within the Creation account (Gen. 1-2).  We do know they are a creation though.  “Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts…Let them praise the name of the LORD, for he comanded and they were created” (Ps. 148:2, 5).

And through the person of Jesus we know that “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:16).

It seems that all the angels were created all at one time since they are unable to propagate themselves in the normal fashion (Matt. 22:30), and God creates nothing new after that (Gen. 2:2-3).

They had to have been created before the seventh day of creation, for we read “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them” (Gen. 2:1).  “In six days theLORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Ex. 20:11).

Wayne Grudem writes that “there may be a hint at the creation of angelic beings on the first day of creation when we read that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Gen. 1:1), and then immediately after we read that ‘the earth was without form and void’ (Gen. 1:2), but with no mention of the heavens in the second verse.  This may suggest that the uninhabitable state of the earth is contrasted with the heavens where, perhaps, God had already created angelic beings and assigned them various roles and orders.  This idea is made more plausible when we read that ‘the morning starts sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy’ at the time when God laid the ‘cornerstone’ of the earth and sunk its ‘bases’ in the process of forming or founding it (Job 38:6-7).  If the angels (‘the sons of God’) shouted for joy when God was making the earth inhabitable, this could imply that God created the angelic beings early on the first day.

“However, since we have only hints in Scripture, we must remain content with the fact that God has not given us much information about the time of the creation of the angels…”  -Systematic Theology, 401-402.

Hope that helps!