Principalities and Powers
Under Satan’s authority are “principalities and powers”. They are described in various ways. These beings share certain biblical terminology with angels who have not rebelled against God. For example, they are all called “angels”, a generic name. So sometimes trying to distinguish which is which, is not a simple task. Moreover, in the New Testament, some of the same terminology used to describe principalities and powers is also used of earthly human powers.
These dark powers under Satan’s control are described generically as:
- “the host of heaven on high” (Isa. 24:21)
- “the sons of God” (Deut. 32:8 [from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament made about 200 BC])
- “angels” (I Cor. 6:3; Rom. 8:28; I Pet. 3:22)
Positions of Power
In their positions of power or control they are variously described as:
- “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” and “the prince of Greece” (Dan. 10:13,20)
- “rule, authority, power, dominion” (Eph. 1:21)
- “the rulers and authorities in heavenly places” (Eph. 3:10)
- “the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12)
- “angels, principalities, powers, height, depth” (Rom. 8:38-39)
- “the rulers of this age” (I Cor 2:6-8)
- “so-called gods, gods, and lords” (I Cor. 8:5)
- “rule, authority, power” (I Cor. 15:24)
- “thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities” (Col. 1:16)
- “the rulers and authorities” (Col. 2:15)
- “angels, authorities, powers” (I Pet. 3:22)
National Guardian Angels
The references in Daniel 10 are to angel guardians who have authority over nations. From these references I think it is safe to infer that all nations have national guardian angels who exercise spiritual authority over them.
This position is reinforced by the Septuagint (Greek) version of Deut. 32:8. As pointed out by Ernst Wurthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, this version of Deut. 32:8 may well be closer to the original than the Masoretic (Hebrew) text of Deut. 32:8. The English translation of Deut. 32:8 from The Holy Scriptures: According to the Masoretic Text reads:
“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.”
But the English translation of Deut. 32:8 in the Septuagint reads:
“When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God.”
There is a significant difference between “the children of Israel” and “the angels of God.” The discovery of a Hebrew text of Deut. 32:8 at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) which reads “according to the number of the sons of God” agrees with the Greek rendering of the Septuagint.
Other Masoretic texts from Qumran also affirm the accuracy of the Septuagint over against the Masoretic texts (from the 10th century AD) used in the translation of our English Bibles.
So we conclude that “according to the number of the sons of God” was probably the meaning in the original Hebrew manuscript. All this to say that here is evidence that God divided the nations of the world and set angel guardians over them. This will become an important point when we come to territorial spirits and strategic spiritual warfare.