When Was the Devil Created?

Full Question

If Adam and Eve were the first persons God created, where did the devil in the Garden of Eden come from?


Adam and Eve were the first human persons created, but the devil and other angelic persons were created before them. Angels are pure spirits (CCC 328-30). Neither the creation account in Genesis 1 or Genesis 2 discusses the creation of the devil, who is presented in the form of a serpent (see Genesis 3:1). His creation is assumed as well as his fall as he plots against Adam and Eve.

Scripture speaks of the devil and other angels as sinning against God, which resulted in their consignment to hell (see 2 Peter 2, CCC 391-93). In Satan’s rebellion, a third of the angels—represented by stars—went with him (see Revelation 12:3-4, 7-12). Stars occasionally represent angels in Scripture (e.g., Revelation 1:20, Judges 5:20). The Latin words—Non serviam—“I will not serve”—are traditionally associated with the devil, who pridefully refused to serve God in his kingdom.

By Tom Nash



  1. thomraff Reply

    Simple response: how do you know that there are devils and angels? My science-based thinking tells me that I can’t accept any claims about either because there is no evidence.

  2. Don Miguel Henson Reply

    Simplier answer: it’s not science that answers their existence but FAITH. No faith? No angels and demons.

  3. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “Angels are pure spirits”
    How do pure spirits affect the particles in our natural world? This “spirit” would have needed to manipulate matter in order to take the form of a talking snake – and I thought the Church did not insist on a literal interpretation of this silly story. We know all the ways there are that particles can be manipulated and there are none for which a “spirit” manipulation is required in order to explain it. Quantum mechanics seems spooky, but regardless of how it works, it gives us amazingly accurate predictions, and it predicts with as close as you can get to certainty that if these forces which are said to manipulate matter in our natural world actually existed, we would know it by now.
    “His creation is assumed as well as his fall as he plots against Adam and Eve.”
    I thought Yahweh-Jesus was all-knowing. Surely he knew before he created them, that they would rebel. If not, then he can’t be said to be all-knowing. And if he knew it and did it anyway, is he an idiot? He must have been really bored. And why did they rebel? It’s not a great advertisement for heaven when the angels who live there are adamant about changing the place or getting out.
    Who is the truly evil god? The “devil” told them that they would not die (they didn’t), and that if they ate of the fruit, they would know good and evil like the gods, and they did, as found in my favorite passage Gen 3:22. We’re told right at the start that we know what good and evil are, and yet the snake who told the truth is somehow the “bad guy.” The “good guy” punishes the kids (and us) for doing something they didn’t know was wrong until after they had consumed the fruit, which is, of course, terrible parenting. We go on to read a record of the heinous actions of the “good guy” and are commanded to love him, which raises the question of who has to command that they be loved, and why would that be necessary.
    It’s always been interesting to me that Christians never use the lure of heaven to bring me into the fold, but always the threat of Hell. I’m starting to see why. If even the angels couldn’t stand the place, and got tired of being slaves to a petty tyrant who has to “command” that he be loved, we might want to exercise some caution. If Yahweh-Jesus is all knowing then he was a fool to create the devil. Just saying. If heaven is so unsavory that his first creation is clamoring to get out of it, then there’s a concern. If the “good guy” is lying and the “bad guy” is the one telling the truth, there’s a concern. If the “good guy” is condoning or commanding genocide, murder of innocents, sexism, racism, discrimination against the disabled, etc., that should probably be a concern. At some point you have to ask if we’re worshipping the right god.
    Fortunately it’s all debunked and we don’t have to worry about it any longer. We know today that there was no six day creation, no two-person DNA bottleneck, no global flood, no mass Exodus from Egypt and no conquest of Canaan. Non-religious scholars are pretty universal in their agreement. Without these things there is no foundation for the Abrahamic gods, so we can let them go and we can put all this silly talk of devils and demons behind us.

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