Which were created first: Angels or humans?
The Bible tells us that humans were created on the sixth day and Genesis 1:26 reads: “let us make man in our image.”
The use of the plural “us” in this passage seems to imply God was not alone when humankind was created.
“Us” means Trinity
Some scholars believe this means God was speaking as the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), that all were active in creation. As biblical scholar Ellicott comments, this implies. The following verse states that Jesus and God are one and, together, were responsible for creation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
– John 1:1-3
“Us” means God and angels
The other possibility is that “us” refers to the heavenly host (the Angels). Scholar Ellicott says: “Jewish interpreters think the Angels are meant.”
Many theologians believe the Angels were created sometime prior to the creation of the earth.
Other scriptural evidence pointing to angels existing before humans and the earth
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” … “while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
– Job 38:4/7
In the above verse, God is reprimanding Job and it seems to imply that the Lord is reminding Job that he, and humans, did not exist when God was creating the Earth while suggesting the Angels were present as witnesses.
It should be pointed out here that most translations of Job 38:7 (ESV, KJV, NASB, etc.) do not use the word “angels” in this passage but, rather, “sons of God.” However, many scholars believe that the phrase “sons of God” refers to angels.
The creation of angels is mentioned in Psalm 148 and it seems to follow the order of creation from Genesis, potentially implying that the Angels were even created before the Earth, the sun, moon, and stars.
Several commentaries by scholars, reinforce this idea that the Angels occupied the first rank in creation.
While the account of creation in Genesis 1 does not give us a specific time when angels were created, clues throughout the Bible infer it occurred before that of humankind. Let’s explore the creation of angels and humans.