Skip to Content

What do flies symbolize in the Bible?

What do flies symbolize in the Bible? Also, what is the biblical meaning of flies in your house?


Flies are one of the most common insects in the world, often associated with nuisance and disease. However, in the Bible, flies have a deeper symbolic meaning beyond their physical attributes.

They often represent negative aspects of life and the consequences of disobedience.

The presence of flies in biblical stories and parables offers a unique perspective on the spiritual significance of these small creatures.

In this article, we will explore the symbolism of flies in the Bible, their association with death and decay, and the lessons we can learn from them.

By understanding the spiritual meaning of flies in the Bible, we can gain a deeper understanding of God’s plan for us and the importance of living a righteous life.

What do flies symbolize in the Bible?

Foolishnessprophetic meaning of flies

“Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor…” (Ecclesiastes 10:1)

In this verse, flies are used to describe foolishness.

This is an uncommon symbol of a fly, which is usually associated with uncleanliness and decay. However, seeing flies is a warning, especially if you are wise, that people around you can pollute your wisdom.

Therefore, you must be careful of who you associate yourself with because they might put you in trouble through their foolish acts.

God’s wrath and judgmentFlies in the Bible

“Or else, if you will not let My people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand.” (Exodus 8:21)

In the Old Testament, flies are mentioned several times as a symbol of God’s punishment.

For example, in Exodus 8:21-24, God sends swarms of flies as a plague upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. Similarly, in Isaiah 7:18-19, God promises to send flies to punish Judah for its disobedience.

Seeing flies, especially in large numbers, might be a bad omen.

It might mean God is not pleased with you due to disobedience. Therefore, you must repent or face the repercussion of your actions.

Flies are annoying and cause great discomfort.

This means you will face discomfort in some areas of your life if you fail to as God for forgiveness and do His will.

DestructionWhat scriptures in the Bible talk about flies

“He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them” (Psalm 78:45)

The presence of flies was seen as a sign of God’s judgment, particularly in the context of plagues and other disasters.

Flies are destructive in nature.

They transmit deadly diseases, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy, and tuberculosis.

They do this by regurgitating and excreting wherever they come to rest.

They are agents of destruction, damaging human and animal health.

Flies are known to torment sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils, which turn into worms and cause the sheep to beat their head against a rock and eventually die.

Therefore, you must be careful when you see flies around you.

It might be a sign that destruction is looming.

Pray against it and save yourself, your family, and your possessions from destruction.

Lack of God’s presencewhat do flies mean spiritually

“And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there…” (Exodus 8:22)

This verse states that one thing that distinguishes Goshen from Egypt is the presence of flies.

Goshen is where God’s people dwell. While Egypt is where slave masters and the enemies of God’s people stay.

Being in Goshen means being before God’s presence where the light shines, and darkness has no power, and flies, which symbolize judgment, destruction, uncleanliness, and sickness, cannot be found.

Therefore, seeing flies means you are in Egypt, and God is not present in your life.

This might be because of your sins, particularly those of oppressing the less privileged and weak.

Repent from your evil, free those you are oppressing, and pay the wages you are withholding from those who have labored for you to avert fly invasion.

READ MORE: Bible Passages for New Beginnings

UncleanlinessWhat is the scriptural meaning of flies

It is common to find flies buzzing in dirty areas.

That is why they thrive. You hardly find them in clean places.

You might want to consider how clean your heart is when you keep seeing flies.

You must examine yourself to determine whether sin, which signifies stain and filth, is not in your life.

If you have erred, seeing flies around or in your dream might be a message from God to expose the state of your heart to you.

Take it as a warning and turn away from your sinful ways.

READ MORE: What is the spiritual meaning of spiders in the Bible?

DecayWhat is the spiritual symbolism of a fly

Flies are often associated with death, decay, and destruction and are often found swarming around decaying matter, including dead animals and rotting fruit.

In James 5:2-3, the author warns against hoarding wealth, saying, “your riches have rotted, and your garments are moth-eaten.”

The reference to “moth-eaten” clothing suggests decay, and this image may be related to the symbolism of flies.

The presence of flies might mean death is lurking around you.

Be vigilant and rebuke it.

It may also mean that your life is experiencing decay. See what area this is happening in and ask God for intervention before it’s too late.

In Ecclesiastes 10:1 above, flies are said to be related to foul odor.

They are attracted to bad smells. Something is definitely wrong somewhere if you see flies chasing you.

It means they want to pollute you, or something offensive in your life is attracting them to you.

Biblical meaning of flies in your housebiblical meaning of flies in your house

Houseflies are some of the most common bugs infesting houses across the globe.

If they find something they like in your house, they will almost be unstoppable.

If it’s just one or two, then there is nothing much to it, but if they come in swarms, there is probably a reason behind it, and it is probably best to get to the bottom of things.

Even as you figure out the best way to deal with the infestation, you may want to also consider the spiritual significance of houseflies.

Here is what houseflies represent biblically:

Defilementwhat do flies represent spiritually

The housefly is known to feed on decaying organic matter and other dirty things like feces and rotting food.

As such, houseflies are very dirty and are known to spread germs around the house. In fact, some of the communicable diseases like dysentery are spread through houseflies. 

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon uses a proverb that alludes to how flies cause defilement:

Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1

Perfume is meant to smell good, but when it’s contaminated with houseflies, it begins to stink.

This speaks of the defilement that houseflies cause.

If you leave a snack on your kitchen counter and find a swarm of flies on it, there is a good chance the food has been defiled and unsafe for consumption. 

Similarly, the presence of houseflies can also be a symbol of spiritual defilement. To be defiled means to be impure, desecrated, or dishonored.

You get defiled through sin.

A good example is when Daniel and his friends were offered the delicacies of the king of Babylon. However, Daniel resolved not to defile himself by partaking in the king’s food (Daniel 1:6).

Daniel knew the king’s table had lots of meats from unclean animals, as prescribed in the law of Moses. This is just one example of defilement, but it can come from any kind of sin. 

Judgmentwhat do flies mean spiritually

When Moses went to Pharaoh to ask for the freedom of the Israelites, Pharoah blatantly refused.

This resulted in the unleashing of the 10 plagues.

One of these plagues was the release of flies in every Egyptian household:

If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies; even the ground will be covered with them.” Exodus 8:21

The flies, just like the other 9 plagues, were a result of God’s judgment over Egypt.

Not only had Egypt held God’s people captive for three centuries, but they were resisting the call of God to let the people go. And that attracted God’s judgment. 

Just as houseflies were released into the households of Egyptians to signify God’s judgment, the presence of houseflies in your house may also be a symbol of God’s judgment.

You may want to make hay while the sun shines by examining your ways and returning to the Lord (Lamentations 3:40).

The good thing about God’s judgment is that God is always abounding in mercy.

If you are remorseful about it, God is always ready to forgive and lift the judgment. 

David understood this about God. whenever he would defile himself and thereby attract judgment, he would go to God in repentance, and God always heard his cry.

Another classical example is King Hezekiah.

When the prophet Isiah told him that he had been judged for his shortcomings and would die as a result, the king repented of his ways.

When God saw his genuine repentance, he sent back the prophet with a different message  – that he had been added 15 more years. 

To put it plainly, judgment is not the end of the road because God’s mercy is always available to the remorseful.  

The prophetic meaning of fliesprophetic meaning of flies

As we have already established, houseflies signify uncleanliness, sickness, and disease.

We know that flies were released in Egypt as a symbol of God’s judgment for the pharaoh’s disobedience.

From this, we can infer that houseflies are symbols of God’s wrath and judgment, which are usually released to punish disobedience. 

Medical science has proved that houseflies spread diseases like typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.

As such, houseflies can also be viewed as symbols of death and pestilence.

In Psalms, the Bible describes how the swarms of flies devoured the Egyptians:

He sent among them swarms of flies that devoured them, And frogs which destroyed them. Psalms 78:45

This confirms that houseflies can also signify death and pestilence. 

The bubonic plague that killed millions in Europe in the Middle Ages was also referred to as the black death.

This was due to the presence of black flies that were associated with the plague. 

Are flies symbols of evil?flies in the bible

Some cultures believe that flies are a symbol of good fortune.

For instance, ancient Chinese people believed that houseflies signified good luck and prosperity.

This belief stemmed from the observation that houseflies are attracted to food. The presence of houseflies was therefore thought of as a symbol of prosperity. 

However, the Bible has a different view on houseflies.

The Bible only mentions houseflies in the Bible in bad light. They are either mentioned as unclean insects that cause defilement or as a symbol of God’s judgment.

Judgement usually means god’s wrath. And it often results in death, loss of property, or both. But this judgment is usually a result of sin – and sin is what defiles people, societies, and nations.

So in a way, when houseflies signify defilement, you can infer from context that judgment is looming. are flies a symbol of evil

Overall, flies are a negative symbol in the Bible, representing the consequences of disobedience and the fragility of life.

They serve as a recall of the importance of living a righteous life and following God’s commands.

READ THIS NEXT: Biblical meaning of hearing knocking