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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Many Evil Angels Exist?

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Don Stewart
The number of evil angels is not disclosed to us in Scripture. We do know that there is a limited number of them, but just how many do exist is unknown.

One Third Rebelled?

It is possible that as many as one third of all the angels who were created decided to rebel against God. This number comes from a passage in the Book of Revelation.

His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born (Revelation 12:4).

Dragon Identified

The dragon is identified for us a few verses later.

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 (Revelation 12:9).

The idea that one third of the angels may have rebelled comes from the statement that the tail of the dragon took one third of the stars with him to the earth. In Scripture, stars, or the heavenly host, are one of the designations for angels. For example, we read in Isaiah.

On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven in heaven, and on earth the kings of the earth (Isaiah 24:21).

Evil Angels That Are Bound

Scripture speaks of a large number of evil angels that are presently bound.

saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." So the four angels were released, who had been held ready for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, to kill a third of humanity. The number of the troops of cavalry was two hundred million; I heard their number (Revelation 9:14-16).

It this number is literal, then we are dealing with an angelic army of two hundred million!


The Bible teaches that God created a multitude of angels. It is possible that one third of this great number rebelled against Him and became evil angels. As to their exact number, there is no way to be certain. Presently a large number of these evil angels are bound. It is possible that they number as many as two hundred million.
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