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Does Psalm 107:18 reference to food symbolically mean God, prayer and meditating on God's Word (personal devotions/quiet time in today's lingo)?

If yes, why does it say it abhorred "all kinds of food"?

Would "all kinds of food" mean the various ways of how God and we have a relationship?

-Prayer

-Choir Music Worship

-Reading and Meditating on The Bible Word

-Bible study fellowship

Psalm 107:17-18

Fools, because of [fn]their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. 18 Their soul abhorred all kinds of food, And they drew near to the gates of death.

107:17 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex אֱ֭וִלִים מִדֶּ֣רֶךְ פִּשְׁעָ֑ם וּֽ֝מֵעֲוֹֽנֹתֵיהֶ֗ם יִתְעַנּֽוּ׃

תהילים 107:17 Hebrew OT: WLC (Consonants Only) אולים מדרך פשעם ומעונתיהם יתענו׃

תהילים 107:17 Paleo-Hebrew OT: WLC (Font Required) אולים מדרך פשעם ומעונתיהם יתענו׃

תהילים 107:17 Hebrew Bible אולים מדרך פשעם ומעונתיהם יתענו׃

107:18 Hebrew OT: Westminster Leningrad Codex כָּל־אֹ֭כֶל תְּתַעֵ֣ב נַפְשָׁ֑ם וַ֝יַּגִּ֗יעוּ עַד־שַׁ֥עֲרֵי מָֽוֶת׃

תהילים 107:18 Hebrew OT: WLC (Consonants Only) כל־אכל תתעב נפשם ויגיעו עד־שערי מות׃

תהילים 107:18 Paleo-Hebrew OT: WLC (Font Required) כל־אכל תתעב נפשם ויגיעו עד־שערי מות׃

תהילים 107:18 Hebrew Bible כל אכל תתעב נפשם ויגיעו עד שערי מות׃

Matthew 6:11

11 ‘Give us this day [a]our daily bread.

John 6:35

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

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  • 1
    Short form: Psa. 107:17 - Because of transgressions, the people were afflicted physically. 18. The form of the affliction caused them to be unable to keep down any food, to the point of starvation/gate of death. 19. They turn back to Yahweh and He saves them. 20. Continues to heal them. ----- Other than pointing out to us that our transgressions can produce physical ailments (and the Solution), I don't see any other points in these verses. I do wonder abt the soul rejecting food rather than the body. It is the soul that cries out for help b/c its habitation is rejecting food and dying.
    – tblue
    May 25 at 13:47
  • 1
    @crazyTech - See also [Proverbs 30:8]. May 25 at 14:41
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Let's see the parallelism in Psalm 107:18

They     loathed         all food
and      drew near       the gates of death.

In fact, it is an antithetic parallelism; "loathed" is contrasted with "drew near" and "food" is contrasted with "death". Food symbolizes life.

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The Psalm of thanksgiving that is Ps 107 can be analysed as follows:

V1-3 - Introduction

Refrain (V1), "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His loving devotion endures forever."

V4-9 - Stanza about Desert Wastelands

V8 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."

V10-16 - Stanza about "darkness and in the shadow of death"

V15 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."

V17-22 - Stanza about "Fools, in their rebellious ways"

V21 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."

V23-32 - Stanza about Those who go out to the sea in ships

V31 has the refrain, "Let them give thanks to the LORD for His loving devotion and His wonders to the sons of men."

V33-43 - Concluding Anthem of praise

In the Stanza about "Fools in their rebellious ways", we have a developmental sequence consisting of the following steps outlined in V17, 18:

  • V17 - Fools, (1) in their rebellious ways, and (2) through their iniquities, (3) suffered affliction.
  • V18 - They [ie, the fools] (4) loathed all food [because they had made themselves so sick] and (5) drew near to the gates of death.

Then in the next two verse we also have God's remedy, namely,

19 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. 20 He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the Pit.

Ellicott comments on V18 as follows:

(18) Soul.—The Hebrew word for soul is very commonly used for strong appetite (see Psalm 107:9), so that we might paraphrase,” their appetite is turned to loathing.” Comp. this verse with Job 33:20.

Matthew Henry also observes:

107:17-22 If we knew no sin, we should know no sickness. Sinners are fools. They hurt their bodily health by intemperance, and endanger their lives by indulging their appetites. This their way is their folly. The weakness of the body is the effect of sickness. It is by the power and mercy of God that we are recovered from sickness, and it is our duty to be thankful. All Christ's miraculous cures were emblems of his healing diseases of the soul. It is also to be applied to the spiritual cures which the Spirit of grace works. He sends his word, and heals souls; convinces, converts them, makes them holy, and all by the word. Even in common cases of recovery from sickness, God in his providence speaks, and it is done; by his word and Spirit the soul is restored to health and holiness.

Similarly, Gill observes:

Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat,.... Not only bread and common food, but dainty meat, the most delicious fare, Job 33:20, in which they most delighted in time of health, and too much indulged themselves in; and by that means brought diseases upon them, which caused this loathing in them, as is common. Thus to those who are distempered with sin, whose taste is not changed, nor can it discern perverse things, the word of God, the Gospel of Christ, which is delicious food, is not relished by them; the doctrines of it are insipid things, they loath them as light bread, as the Israelites did the manna.

Thus, "food" in V18 appears to be used quite literally.

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