Occasionally we receive email questions from our younger readers. This question was recently sent to us by a boy who had just finished reading The Answers Book for Kids.
Were angels created when God created the heavens, or have they been with God all of eternity?
– S.W., USA
That is a wonderful question! The Bible does not specifically state when the angels were created, but we can look at some verses that give us clues as to a possible time frame.
First of all, let’s look at some background information. We know that God created all things, including the angels. In Colossians 1:16, Paul writes the following:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
In this verse, the words “principalities or powers” refer to angelic beings. We also know by reading Genesis 1:1–5 that God created the heavens and the earth on the first day of the creation week.
Now let’s build on this background information by looking at some additional verses. We can learn from reading Job 38:4–7 that the angels, called “sons of God” and possibly “morning stars” in verse 7, witnessed some of God’s work during the Creation Week. In these verses, God is speaking to Job. God says the following:
Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The angels “shouted for joy” in response to God’s wonderful creative work! These verses tell us that the angels rejoiced when God laid the foundations of the earth. This could be a reference to day 1, when God made the earth; or it could be a reference to day 3, when God made the dry land. Either way, the angels were in existence before day 4 of the Creation Week.
We can find more information about the creation of angels by reading verses about the creation of Satan. Keep in mind that when angels were created, Satan and the fallen angels had not yet sinned. We know this because God declares His creation to be “very good” in Genesis 1:31. This next set of verses is long. See if you can find the hint about when Satan was created. Ezekiel 28:13–15 states the following:
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.
Did you notice? Verse 15 mentions that Satan was created on a specific “day.” Since time did not exist before day 1, this means that Satan was created during the Creation Week.1
After doing a little research, I think we can conclude that the angels were created at some point during the Creation Week, no later than day 3. I hope this answers your question.
Kids, we love to hear from you!! If you have any questions, please ask an adult to help you submit them using this page on our website. We’ll be looking forward to receiving more interesting questions from you!
1For more information, see Chapter 25: What about Satan and the Origin of Evil? from The New Answers Book.