Psalm 119:164 is similar to verse 148, “My eyes are awake before each watch of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.” So, David’s “Seven times a day” is probably referring to the 7 general time periods of the Hebrew day, from sunset to sunset. They had three night watches, and there were four approximate daytime stages as well. The morning was sometimes called a 4th night watch. (Matthew 14:25)
By the 8th century BC King Ahaz of Judah had calibrated the daylight periods by means of a precise sun device. (2 Kings 20:9-11) It possibly had smaller steps inside of the original larger increments, but unfortunately, its workings are no longer known.
The divisions in earlier times were simpler, and here they are listed in 7 stages beginning from sunset - the start of the Hebrew day:
- Evening – the 1st night watch (Lamentations 2:19)
- Midnight – the middle night watch (Judges 7:19)
- Cockcrow – the last night watch (3 Maccabees 5:23-26)
- Dawn – the morning watch (Exodus 14:24)
- When the sun gets hot – late morning (1 Sam. 11:9,11)
- Noon – the middle of the day (Psalm 55:17)
- Cool of the day – breezes before evening (Gen. 3:8)
David was saying that he praised the LORD in all of them!