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Ephesians 2:2. "...you once walked, followng the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience". ESV

Matthew 8:25-26. "...they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord..Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm". ESV

Certainly the air has an appearance of power in a tornado. But since God rules over the wind and the waves the air is not autonomous.

May we see in "the prince of the power of the air" that the Devil may have a grand sounding title but actually is entirely under God's almighty power? In Hebrews 2:7-8 "You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour, putting everything under his feet".

Is "the prince of the power of the air" saying that Satan has no more ultimate authority over himself than the air has over itself?

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2 Answers 2

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An inferior foe

Paul refers in this same letter to what he calls a 'battle': not in the physical or material world, but rather the spiritual or 'heavenly' realms:

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The 'spirit' at work in the sons of 'unbelievers' (ἀπειθείας, those not persuaded) is this prince/ruler of the power/authority of 'the air'.

τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος (Ephesians 2:2)

The English term 'prince' assumes a crown and inheritance, but the Greek word ἄρχοντα refers to a chief or ruler with authority over the people only in a certain jurisdiction.

This is backed up by the word for power as ἐξουσίας, meaning an assigned authority. It implies a lesser or partial power - similar to that wielded by Jewish authorities or Roman rulers - that is not actually theirs, but has been assigned either by a higher authority OR by the people themselves. This is in contrast with the complete power (κράτει) and absolute might (ἰσχύος) of God:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength (κράτει) of his might (ἰσχύος). (Ephesians 6:10)

The Greek word ἀέρος also refers to the lower air or atmosphere that we breathe, as opposed to the higher, rarefied air of ὁ αἰθήρ, as in Homer's Iliad. So 'the air' here suggests a realm that may technically be 'in the heavenly places' (above the earth, non-material, not physically tangible/visible), but is a lower section of it.

Conclusion

The title translated as 'the prince of the power of the air' uses Greek words that imply a lesser ruler with an assigned authority in a lower realm.

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The “air” is where words travel to our ears.

It is the medium (the channel, system of communication) in which languages travel to the hearing ears of others….and there are many voices saying many different things in the air. The air has power as words travel in it. These words can benefit us or cause us harm. Death and life are in the power of the tongue.

The words we choose to listen to as spoken by another can lead us to the Truth or can lead us very much astray.

False teachers speak feigned words in the air in order to lead us astray from the Way of righteousness as shown to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Their goal is the make merchandise of us….if we fall victim to their words which travel in the “air” to our hearing ears.

2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV (1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

They speak (in the air) great swelling words of emptiness to recapture those who are just escaping the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 2:18-22 KJV (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

They seek to steer us from the Way of righteousness…..the narrow way that leads to life. They want us to turn from the Holy Commandment (to have love for one another) as delivered for us to keep.

(21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

This reminds me of the “Amaleks”…meaning “people who lick” ( as they speak great swelling words of emptiness, flattery)….who came forth and did meet people by the way (Way of righteousness) just as they were coming forth out of Egypt (just escaping the pollutions of the world).

They did smite those who were “feeble”….”faint and weary” (today: people become weary in well doing and so fall victim to spiritual Amaleks with their use of the flattering tongue).

Deuteronomy 25:17-18 KJV (17) Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; (18) How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.

Let us not be “weary in well doing”. Let us faint not. Not only shall we reap everlasting life in due season but we shall also keep out of the reach of those who love to be first in this world (those who love to have the preeminence among us are the “princes” of this world) and speak things they ought not be speaking in order to lead us astray from the Way of righteousness. They profit from this situation as they get their earthly needs met: what to eat, drink and wear. They mind earthly things.

Galatians 6:9-10 KJV (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

There are false prophets who speak “peace, peace” to us but there is none in their company. They lead us away from the narrow Way that leads to life and down the wide road to destruction. They pose as ministers of righteousness (wolves in sheep’s clothing).

They say they are sent by the Lord in His authority but they are falsely sent (“apostle” = “sent”)…..false apostles.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV (13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

They work in accordance to the working of Satan in order to lead us astray. They present themselves to us as “ministers of righteousness”.

*(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) T herefore it is no great thing if his ministers also

be transformed as the ministers of righteousness;whose end shall be according to their works.*

These are those who have crept in unawares.

Jude 1:3-5 KJV (3) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Their function: to lead those who do not really believe in the Way, the Truth and the Life to their destruction. Believing is active. Believing is doing.

(5) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

Their presence (coming) among us is in accordance to the working of Satan….

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 KJV (9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

….and those who fall victim to them are those who do not receive the love of the Truth (they know it but don’t do it or become weary and faint in well doing) and be saved….

(10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

…so that they might be condemned who believed not the Truth but had pleasure in their unrighteousness.

(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

It seems that the Lord allows this because of the people who do not receive the love of the Truth and be saved.

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