Was Satan an angel?

Most of the biblical references to the origin of Satan are symbolic, and as we look deeper into these passages, we find that while Satan is not explicitly described as an angel, if he was not an angel, he was most certainly an angelic creature. Starting with Ezekiel 28:12–18, which is presumably a narrative of Satan's fall from heaven, it appears that Satan is referred to as a "guardian cherub." Because cherubs are a type of angelic being, it can be said that Satan was some sort of angel.

In the Bible, Satan is referred to as being among groups of angels (Job 1:6–7) as well as having his own angels (Matthew 25:41). When discussing the end-times war that will take place in heaven, Revelation 12:7–9 mentions the Devil and his angels in direct conflict with Michael the archangel and his angels: "Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." The technical standing of Satan as an angel is not the main idea, because either way we can know with certainty that he is an angelic-type being with connection to the angels.

In Revelation 12:4, the dragon imagery is used to refer to Satan and it is indicated that one-third of the other angels (referred to as stars) fell from heaven with him. So, why did an angel like Satan rebel against God in the first place? The book of Isaiah utilizes symbolism yet again to let us know that Satan's downfall was pride: "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High'" (Isaiah 14:12–14). This passage shows us that Satan did not desire to worship God; he desired to be God and be worshipped himself. "Day Star" is translated as "Lucifer" in some translations, such as the KJV, so this passage is also where we get the name "Lucifer" for Satan. Satan was cast out of heaven, and the punishment for his pride is ultimate damnation, an eternity spent in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10; Isaiah 14:15).

Related Truth:

Who is Satan?

Does Satan exist?

Is Satan Lucifer? Does the fall of Lucifer describe Satan?

When was the fall of Satan, and how did it happen?

God vs. Satan? If He is really all-powerful, why doesn't God just kill Satan?

Return to:
Truth about Angels

Subscribe to the CompellingTruth.org Newsletter:

Preferred Bible Version:

CompellingTruth.org is part of Got Questions Ministries

For answers to your Bible questions, please visit