Psalm 148:7-12 calls everything to praise the Yahweh, from sea monsters to children. The list has a number of interesting features.

It is organized first by the zones of creation and then by the categories of created things. It begins with the sea (v. 7b), moves to the sky (v. 8), and then to the earth (v. 9). Once it arrives at earth it stays there, first describing topography, then plants, then four categories of animals (wild beasts, livestock, creepers, and flying things), and then to categories of human beings.

The numerical organization emphasizes that the creation climaxes in humans.

Two terms are used for the sea; five for the sky and weather (fire, hail, snow, clouds, wind); two topographical features are listed (mountains, hills), two trees (fruit trees and cedars), and the four categories of animate things); eight groups of human beings are mentioned (kings, peoples, princes, judges, young men, virgins, old men, children). Sub-human creatures are represented as a fourfold, but humans are double that, an eightfold reality, a number that is also significant because of its associations with new life, resurrection, the day after the Sabbath.

If we include “earth” (v. 7a), the list has 24 total items. Twenty-four categories of “earthly” things praise God, echoing the twenty-four old ones around the heavenly throne.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the list is the fact that “children” come last. They stand in the eighth position in the list of human categories - children are “new creatures” par excellence . When the eighth day arrives, we will be given Spiritual bodies and, like newborn children, praise Yah throughout the eternal eighth day.

Politically, kings, princes and judges are at the top of the heap. Liturgically, the hierarchy is inverted. Kings are at the bottom, with princes and judges. At the top are old men (frail, and entering a second childhood) and children. The meek inherit the earth. Unless you enter the liturgy as children, you shall not enter therein. Whoever would be great, let him humble himself like a little child.