I was following the discussion "Needing light for darkness", whether Hell existed before the Fall etc. and came up with the following theories (sorry if this turns into a ramble). I am assuming there was a period when humans did not have free will, before the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Things will vary depending on how literal a reading you have of the Bible, but I don't think the core principles are affected.
Before humans gained free will
Before the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Hell had no purpose. It may have existed already, but was empty, functionless. Similarly, angels were just Celestial mechanics, making sure the world kept on working; alternatively, they were the forerunners of humans, a first draft. The distinction between good and evil had not been discovered by humans, nor by angels, hence a Fall was impossible.
The humans gain free will
They gain a better understanding of the world, the knowledge of good and evil, and are sent out of the Garden of Eden (set free?). Quite possibly, the Tree of Knowledge was a test: whoever would eat of it first, human or angel, would become God's Favoured Race; the other one would have to serve them. Either way, evil became a possibility and Hell was created/unlocked to serve that purpose. Angels were told to serve humans, and either rebelled (out of vanity) or chose to serve in Hell (career move). Which means that angels may not have free will for most things, but *do* have free will as far as good vs. evil is concerned. So redemption and falling are still possible, but apart from that, your path is set, and you Do What You're Told.
Of course, after giving humans free will, giving celestials partial free will, and setting up heaven and hell, God may have moved on to other things. And why would he devote particular attention to celestials anyway, after they failed his challenge? Maybe that's what Eli is doing on Earth: blending with the human population, learning their ways, trying to learn from his mistakes, asking God for forgiveness/a second chance. Maybe Eli wants to become human.
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