The Office of the Servants of the Church.
A song of degrees, probably used, by its original purpose, as the greeting of the worshiping multitudes at the opening of a great festival, the priests answering the song of greeting with the assurance of God's blessing. V. 1. Behold, bless ye the Lord, giving all praise and honor to Him, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord, the reference being either to the Temple chorus at the vesper service or to those officials of the tribe of Levi, both Levites and priests, who had charge of the Temple during the night, being responsible for the safety of all Temple property and making everything ready for the worship of the next day. V. 2. Lift up your hands in the Sanctuary, in a gesture of appeal, and bless the Lord, the admonition being not to forsake the acts of worship and devotion while engaged in the duty of watching. The congregation having sent its greeting up to the Temple mount or to the Court of the Priests, the chorus of priests answers with a blessing, v. 3. The Lord that made heaven and earth, the almighty Sovereign of the universe, bless thee out of Zion, from the place of His residence among His people, just as He now sends forth His blessings through the work of the Church, whose pastors, missionaries, and teachers bring the Gospel to men everywhere, the object being to make them wise unto salvation by faith in Christ Jesus, the avowed purpose of all Gospel-preaching.