New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:15 principalities and powers. This phrase, “principalities and powers,” referring usually to the angelic hierarchy, occurs eight times in the New Testament, all in the writings of Paul (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10; 2:15; Titus 3:1). In this case (as also in Ephesians 6:12) it refers specifically to the Satanic coterie of rebellious angels, surrounding Christ on the cross (note Psalm 22:12-21). By dying for the sins of the world, Christ actually defeated Satan (even though the Devil may well have been temporarily gloating over his apparent triumph) because He thereby paid the price to redeem all men from their Satanic captivity (compare Hebrews 2:14-15).