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The Greek word pronounced ar-khay literally means a beginning (the English word "archaic" originated from that Greek word), but was used to signify a first rule, or a first principle (i.e. in how the word "constitution" is used in the modern-day world), and further, a chief officer of that principle, or the territory under its, or his, jurisdiction.
In the King James Version, that Greek word, ar-khay, is usually translated as "principalities" or "principality." The definition of English "principalities" very well matches the meaning of the actual Greek word that it is used to translate. According to The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary, "principality" means "sovereignty; supreme power; a prince, or one invested with sovereignty; the territory of a prince, or the country which gives title to a prince" (the English word "principal" is merely a more specific definition of that "prince" i.e. again from The Consolidated Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary, a "principal" means "first in time or order."
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness"
The world, as it has become, is passing away (see The End Of The World?). Earth is going to be restored to a place of peace with, and obedience to, the LORD - as it was in the beginning (see Christ The Creator).
"8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
The reason, and means, by which the world is going to be restored as paradise is because the LORD has power "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come."
"1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him [see What Does 'Apocalypse' Really Mean?]: 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead [listen to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page], and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places [see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?], 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet [see The Coming World Dictator], and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:15-23 KJV)
But in the meantime, most of the world is the principality of the angelic loser who went from a prince of righteousness to a prince of evil - Satan (see the Fact Finder question below). It's the devil's influence that makes the world as it is today, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness."
"6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the Darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [see also High Places of The Mind]. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness [see The LORD's Plumb Line]; 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God]; 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Fact Finder: (a) Did the Messiah come to cast out Satan, "the prince of this world," in due time? (b) Was Satan "the prince of this world" when Christ was crucified? (c) Until Christ returns to remove him, is Satan still "the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience"?