The Biblical Meaning of Bad Smells

Everything has its own meanings, that is, there are symbolic connotations to a lot of things. This includes the Biblical meaning of bad smells. Bad smells are bad, we all know this. Smell, aroma, and fragrance are found many times in the Bible. In my search, I learned that aromas that are pleasant to God often refer to sacrifice.

Paul thanked the Philippians for the offering they sent him, referring to their gifts as “…a sweet smelling  odor, a sacrifice well-pleasing to God.”  Remember that a life of sacrifice to God is sweet smelling, and Jesus’ sacrifice for us is fragrant to the Father.

Those who disregard God will suffer His judgement. Isaiah 3:24 says, “…instead of fragrance there will be a stench…” It is certainly better to smell good before God than to stink in His presence. Presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him is much better than the smell of death.

Understanding that the “powers that be” are diligently seeking a solution, we wait prayerfully and – sometimes – patiently for the smell to be blown away or burned off. In the meantime, I decided to search the scriptures and see what the Bible says about smells.

Usually we think of God watching what we do or hearing what we say, especially our prayers. Perhaps we remind ourselves that He feels our pain, our trials, our disappointments. But I had not thought too much about God’s sense of smell…or taste, for that matter, but let’s save that for another time.

The Biblical Meaning of Bad Smells

Some fragrances or smell may remind us of happy memories or make us feel more grounded and connected to our spirituality. The Biblical meaning of bad smells is abundant and we shall be outlining of it right below:

Presence of Malevolent Spirits

In some belief systems, a bad smell can be seen as a sign of the presence of malevolent spirits or entities. These entities may be trying to communicate with you or may be attempting to influence you in some way.

It is important to approach this possibility with caution and to seek the guidance of a trusted spiritual leader or professional if you are concerned about the presence of malevolent entities

Read Also: How to Make Your House Smell Good Naturally


As odor denotes all that which is grateful to the Lord, so stink denotes that which is ungrateful to the Lord, consequently stink denotes aversion, and also abomination. moreover stink actually corresponds to the aversion and abomination which are of falsity and evil. As stink denotes that which belongs to aversion, it is used in the Word to denote aversion, as in Samuel:–

Israel had become stinking with the Philistines (1 Sam. 13:4)

Achish says of David, that he had made himself utterly stinking in his people, in Israel (1 Sam. 27:12)


In some cases, a foul smell can be a warning sign of danger. This could be a physical danger, such as a gas leak, or a more metaphorical danger, such as a toxic relationship or situation. Paying attention to these warning signs can help you stay safe and avoid potential harm.


It can sometimes be a sign of negative energy or emotions. This could be a sign that you are carrying around a lot of anger, fear, or other negative emotions that are impacting your energy and overall well-being.

It could be helpful to take some time to explore these emotions and try to find healthy ways to process and release them.

Spiritual Imbalance

A bad smell can sometimes be an indication that there is an imbalance in your spiritual life. This could mean that you are out of alignment with your values or that you are not paying attention to your spiritual needs.

Similarly, this could be a warning sign that it is time to take a step back and assess your spiritual health.

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