Far above all principality - The difficulty in this verse does not arise from the words themselves, the meaning of each being easily understood, but from the sense in which the apostle uses them. Some think he has reference here to the different orders among good and evil angels; he is superior to all the former, and rules all the latter. Others think he refers to earthly governments; and as αρχη, principality, the first word, signifies the most sovereign and extensive kind of dominion; and κυριοτης, lordship, the last word, signifies the lowest degree of authority; hence we are to understand that to our Lord, in his human nature, are subjected the highest, the intermediate, and the lowest orders of beings in the universe. - Chandler. Others imagine that the apostle has in view, by whatsoever is named in this world, all the dignitaries of the Jewish Church; and by what is named in the world to come, all the dignities that should be found in the Christian Church.
Schoettgen supposes that the "apostle's αρχη (for αρχοντες, the abstract for the concrete) means the same as the נשיאים Nesiim among the Jews, whose chief business it was to clear and decide all contentions which arose concerning traditions and legal controversies.
"That εξουσια, power, is the same as צורבא tsorba, he who possesses authority to propound, expound, persuade, convince, and refute.
"That δυναμις, might, answers to רבנות rabbanoth, signifying all the class of rabbins, whose office it was to expound the law, and teach the people generally.
"And that κυριοτης, dominion, answers to מר mar, which signifies a person above the lower orders of men. And he observes that Jesus Christ, after his resurrection, called fishermen, publicans, and men from the lowest orders of the people, to the work of the ministry; and made them instruments of confounding and overturning all the Jewish rulers, rabbins, and doctors. And that in the world which is to come - the successive ages of Christianity, he should ever be exalted above all those powers and authorities which Antichrist might bring into the Christian Church; such as popes, cardinals, wicked archbishops, bishops, deans, and canons; and all those who among the schoolmen were termed seraphic doctors, angelic doctors, most illuminated, most perfect, and irrefragable doctors. And although Wiclif, Huss, Luther, Melancthon, and the rest of the reformers, were men of little or no note when compared with the rulers of the popish Church, so eminently did the power of Christ work in and by them, that the pope and all his adjutants were every where confounded, and their power and authority annihilated in several entire regions."
It is certain that the apostle means that all created power, glory, and influence, are under Christ; and hence it is added: