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The Book of Job indicates that angels were with God in the beginning, when the heavens and the earth were created

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7)

Yet it is says elsewhere that angels were created during the six day creation week

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. (Genesis 2:1)

You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you. (Nehemiah 9:6)

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Nehemiah 9:6 does say that God created everything including angels. But it doesn't say when angels were created; they could have been created billions of years before the creation week.

Genesis 2:1 says that God had finished creation, but again it doesn't say that the angels were created at that time, only that they were created by that time.

In fact, many translations have Genesis 2:1 as "So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.". That is, all of creation was finally completed, again perhaps after billions of years.

H6635 - ṣāḇā' - Strong's Hebrew Lexicon) says that the word translated as "all the host of them" in the KJV could be translated as referring to the sun, moon, and stars, and various other things.

KJV's Exodus 12:41 uses the exact same Hebrew word to refer to the Israelite people, not angels:

And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.

The NKJV translates it as "… it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out …".


The original question is based on this statement:

angels were created during the six day creation week

but there is no support for such a claim.

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The question depends on what one means by "the beginning."

Beginning of Creation

If it means earliest stages of God's creation as described in Gen. 1 then traditional Judeo-Christian theology may answer yes, the angels were there. This is definitely the viewpoint of Job 38. However the teaching in Genesis requires interpretation. Some commentators definitely answer yes, the angels were there.

Here are two ancient rabbinical traditions:

when God wished to create man, the angels ask, "Wherefore dost Thou create him?" - Gen. R. viii. 5

God took counsel with the ministering angels, and said unto them, "Let us make, &c.” - Pesiḳta 34a (ed. Buber)

Christian interpreters have often taken the same perspective, but they also express the opinion that it was an internal dialog among the Persons of the Trinity. According to the Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary"

The plural "We" was regarded by the fathers and earlier theologians almost unanimously as indicative of the Trinity. Modern commentators, on the contrary, regard it either as pluralis majestatis; or as an address by God to Himself, the subject and object being identical; or as communicative, an address to the spirits or angels who stand around the Deity and constitute His council.

The term pluralis majestatis refers to the "royal we," in which case God is speaking as a King would, but not actually addressing anyone other than Himself.

Before Time

But if "the beginning" means "before time," then the answer for most Christians is no. John 1 starts with "In the beginning was the Word." For trinitarian Christians this means the Son, who is "eternally begotten of the Father." The Son was the agent of creation, so He existed before the act. Angels are part of the that process and were thus not with God "in the beginning."

Regarding the reference to "all the host of them" (Genesis 2:1), the may or may not refer to angels. The fact that Exodus uses the term to refer to angels does not necessary mean that Genesis used it the same way.

To conclude, the answer to the OP depends on whether "in the beginning" is used in the sense of "the beginning of creation" as in Gen. 1 or "prior to creation," as implied in John 1. Angels are generally thought be creations, so they could not exist in the "beginning" that John 1 speaks of. As to the sense of Gen. 1, it is a matter of interpretation.

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  • There's also the possibility where the Universe was created "in the beginning", and the "days of creation" didn't occur until billions of years later. Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 23:13
  • Yes... good point... The earth could be "without form and void" but the universe could already have angels. If there is not a question about that maybe I will ask it. Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 15:09

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