Found only in Ephesians 2.2 (NRSV: “ruler of …”), this phrase reflects the common belief in the hierarchical organization of angels and demons. In the first century CE, “prince” generally refers to a political power, whether human or spirit. “Air” represents the region between earth and heaven, which is the traditional sphere of demonic activity. In this case, “power” refers to the realm within which power is exercised. Hence, the prince of the power of the air is the spiritual ruler over this hierarchical realm of demons, to which those who are not in Christ are also subject.

Patrick A. Tiller