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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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DOMINION . Lordship, or the possession and exercise of the power to rule. In Colossians 1:16 the word is used in the plural, along with ‘thrones, principalities, and powers,’ to denote supernatural beings possessed of the power of lordship, and ranking as so many kings, princes, and potentates of the heavenly regions. The same word in the singular, and inessentially the same meaning, appears in Ephesians 1:21 , where allusion is made to the exaltation of Christ ‘far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.’ There is no necessary reference in either of these texts to evil angels, but a comparison of what is written in Ephesians 2:2 ; Ephesians 6:12 shows that ‘the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ need not be excluded. Similar indefiniteness is apparent in the other two passages, 2 Peter 2:10 , Judges 1:8 , where the same word is found. It is understood by some to refer here to the lordship of civil rulers, or to any concrete representative of such lordship. Others believe that the reference is to angels, either good or evil, as representing some form of supernatural power and dominion, and the reference in the context to Michael, the archangel, not bringing a railing judgment even against the devil, may be thought to favour this view. A third explanation is also possible, and is favoured by the mention in Judges 1:4 of ‘our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.’ Those ungodly men, who deny the Lord Jesus, would not hesitate to despise, set at nought, and rail at all manner of glorious lordships and dignities. See Authority, Power.

M. S. Terry.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Dominion'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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