Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction
On the other hand, the Lord sometimes exalteth men of low degree, raiseth men of mean extract and parentage, who have made a poor figure in life, to high places of honour, free from adversity and distress; as David from the sheepfold, and from following the ewes great with young, to be king of Israel. This may be applied to the saints and people of God, who for the most part are poor in purse, the poor of this world, whom he chooses, calls, and saves; poor knowledge, capacity, and gifts; poor as to their spiritual circumstances, having neither food nor clothing, nor money to buy either; poor in spirit, and sensible of it; and poor by reason of afflictions: these the Lord sets on high, sets them among the princes of his people, makes them kings and priests; sets them on Christ the Rock, who is higher than they, higher than the angels and than the heavens; sets them above the angels, their nature being advanced above theirs in Christ, and they being represented by him in heavenly places; and standing in the relation of sons to God, and of spouse and bride to Christ, and angels being their ministering servants; and ere long they will be set on thrones, and have a crown of glory, life, and righteousness, put upon them, and be possessed of an everlasting kingdom, and be out of the reach of affliction. They are not clear of it in this world; it is needful for them, they are appointed to it, and through it they must enter the kingdom; but then they will come out of all tribulation, and there will be no more pain, sorrow, and death: it may be rendered, "after affliction", after their time of affliction is over, then God will exalt and glorify them; see ( 1 Peter 5:10 ) , this may respect the prosperity of the church in the latter day; see ( Daniel 7:27 ) .
And maketh him families like a flock;
that is, the Lord makes the poor families like a flock of sheep, so greatly does he increase them; this is a very apt figure that is here used, since the people of God are often compared to sheep, and to a flock of them; and these are creatures that greatly increase; and here it denotes the large number of the saints, as in the first times of the Gospel, both in Judea and in the Gentile world; and as it will be in the latter day, when they shall be multiplied and not be few, glorified and not be small; and that they should be branched out into families, or particular churches, which, like families, consist of children, young men, and fathers, of which Christ is master, and ministers stewards; so it has been from the beginning of the Gospel dispensation and will be much more so in the latter day, when the earth will be full of these families every where. The Targum introduces this verse thus,
``when they turn to the law he setteth''