A Song of degrees.
1 Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
3 The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.
An exhortation to praise God: the vanity of idols. Enjoying the worship in the house of the Lord and flowing out to bless others because of it.
An Akkadian Prayer
to the Gods of the Night
There are several short Akkadian liturgies known as Prayers to the Gods of the Night. These poems, which are prayers to the celestial stars, were recited at night. One example describes the silence of the city when doors were bolted, the palace was quiet and the people were asleep.
Even the major deities (e.g., the sun god) had retreated into the lap of heaven, meaning that they were not visible at that time. The petitioner addressed the night gods, represented by the various constellations, asking for a favorable omen. He then performed a ritual of extispicy (seeking an answer to his inquiry through an interpretation of the form of the animal organs).
It may be that Psalm 134 is also an evening liturgy, but it is vastly different from the Akkadian poems. Psalm 134 may be a dialogue of praise sung between Yahweh’s worshippers as they left the temple in the evening and the Levites who would guard it by night.
The worshipers exhorted the Levities to continue to praise the Lord throughout the night, while the Levites in turn pronounced a benediction upon the congregants.
Yahweh doesn’t cease to work simply because it is nighttime; indeed, the Protector of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps (121:4).
The Israelites were not to worship the heavenly bodies as the surrounding nations did, for they are not divine beings but simply part of God’s creation that also glorify him (Gen 1:14-18; Ps 8:3; 136:7-9; 148:3). Worship of the Lord is to continue uninterrupted by day and night.