I have been meditating on Psalm 119 for quite sometime now. And verse 164 has somewhat caught my attention, where David said:

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.

Praising seven times a day sounds a great deal. However, I do think this will be more difficult than we think. What did David really mean when he said that he praised God seven times a day for his righteous rules?

What are the Seven Historical (Canonical) Hours David prayed a day?

  • 1
    Why would David mean anything other than exactly what he says ?
    – Nigel J
    Nov 4, 2019 at 0:50
  • @Nigel J Don’t forget that hermeneutical processes could be far deeper than we can comprehend€¥£#%???? Nov 4, 2019 at 6:30
  • 1
    Which processes are you considering ?
    – Nigel J
    Nov 4, 2019 at 6:56
  • Does the BH hermeneutical approaches hashtag come with come types? Nov 4, 2019 at 16:13
  • You have to include it in the question, simply putting on a tag doesn't indicate what you want to know.
    – curiousdannii
    Nov 6, 2019 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


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:

  1. Evening – the 1st night watch (Lamentations 2:19)
  2. Midnight – the middle night watch (Judges 7:19)
  3. Cockcrow – the last night watch (3 Maccabees 5:23-26)
  4. Dawn – the morning watch (Exodus 14:24)
  5. When the sun gets hot – late morning (1 Sam. 11:9,11)
  6. Noon – the middle of the day (Psalm 55:17)
  7. Cool of the day – breezes before evening (Gen. 3:8)

David was saying that he praised the LORD in all of them!

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