In his commentary, Matthew Henry noted that the rich can afford to defend themselves, but the ruler of a nation must defend the poor people within his borders. Leaders of nations, large or small, are called to be impartial in their judgements and to see to the needs of all of their subjects, rich or poor.
Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: you shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.
In the Psalms God promises the Hebrew king that his throne will be established forever if he is faithful to the poor, and in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar is told this:
Daniel 4:27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
In a literal way, this also refers to our Lord Jesus, since the Bible says that He will return to earth and rule for a thousand years. The early Christians believed this implicitly, and Paul said more than once that His return was "at hand." (Philippians 4:5, and II Thess. 2:2) At hand was a phrase that conveyed the concept "will happen quickly."
Can you blame them for not figuring it out? They were anxious for Him to return! But in the same way that they had missed the way the prophecies lined up about their Lord (His suffering, death and resurrection), they also missed the fact that:
A thousand years in your sightSo then, if two thousand or even three thousand years pass before He returns, that is still just the blink of an eye to God.
are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4
Christ's reign will be firm, just and fair. Christ, who will be the most righteous King of all, was always gentle and merciful to the poor, and in Revelation we are reminded that He will reign forever:
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:I'm with the early Christians -- even so, Lord, come quickly!!
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15