Is the Quote ‘Cleanliness is Next to Godliness’ in the Bible?

How many of you have heard growing up that “cleanliness is next to Godliness”? Especially when mom or dad needed help cleaning the house or yard. I have been able to fool many people claiming that this famous quote is in the Bible – try it just for fun and you will be amazed at who will believe you.

So, to be totally clear, the quote “cleanliness is next to Godliness”, is NOT in the Bible. However, there is a Bible verse that could be construed as advocating this idea.

“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.” – Psalm 19:9 NKJV

So, does this mean that if you fear God that you will be clean? Or in otherwords, is cleanliness associated with the fear of the Lord? Well, yes, but not like you may be thinking. Let’s look at another Bible version for comparison.

“The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.” – Psalm 19:9 NIV

The Hebrew word tahowr translated as “clean” in the NKJV and “pure” in the NIV means to be ceremonially and morally clean or unpolluted. In other words, true fear and reverence of God is pure, and those who fear the Lord are to be pure in heart.

So, in a sense, cleanliness is next to Godliness. What do you think?


Is the Quote ‘Cleanliness is Next to Godliness’ in the Bible? — 24 Comments

  1. Yes, thoughout the bible the scriptures talk about cleansing, washing, purifying as rightouness and/or holiness! From unclean food to preverted unclean behaviors as defiled and/or sin! So I say… yes, cleaniness is next to Godliness. This saying more then likely came from someone who took notice of the scripture and said this to make a point!

  2. I remember a reading about cleansing while fasting so as not to appear unkempt to gain respect from the community ie your reward will be in heaven

  3. Yes, that’s in Matthew 6:16-18, Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

  4. I grew up very strict, so TV is a big henderence to my comfort zone. I reside in the back bedroom of my exhusband’s house. I feel caged up because the air in the front of the house is saturated with loud TV. I pay him alot to live here so I will have a way to and from work. To make a long story short, Physical filth is indeed unhealthy for anyone, but the filth that one has to indure over the TV inters the spiritual being of that person. At least that’s what I strongly believe.

  5. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree, that while the quote cleanliness is next to Godliness is not in the Bible, living a clean life both spiritually and naturally is both healthy and supported by other Biblical teachings.

  6. Yes, the Law of Moses was big on cleanliness.
    10 If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp:
    11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again.
    12 Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad:

  7. I love that verse @Yahanan. There are somethings you should simply know to do. The bible doesn’t say to bath everyday, but it is something that most people do. likewise, you don’t have to find a scripture telling you to be clean. Simply, grab the broom and clean up behind yourself!

  8. Jesus while on earth did not live a dirty life,we shouldn’t b,if we ar really his children.uncleanliness can prevent people frm listening to u,if u want 2 tell them about christ……glorify God in ur body nd environment by being clean and well packaged

  9. It is in the bible . It is written in the spirit for the spirit. john 13:10. Do you not know God Jesus has talked about many things in the bible in parables. Wake up. It is in the bible many times. Get in the spirit of God by the baptism of the holy spirit. He will show you the way and reveil all things as you go from being babies drinking milk to warriors eatting meat. What are you going to do when you don’t have your bible with you. Are you going to deny him or are you going to walk by faith and let the Holy Spirit teach you. Alot of you are not walking in the spirit. Common sense is from God. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. The holy Ghost will not enter a dirty house it must be cleaned first. t takes but a fraction of a second to entertain the devil and just that fast to serve CChrist are Lord and savior. It happens that fast and faster. This is why he told us to keep praying always because the flesh is weak amen

  10. Hey Cornelius, while the Holy Spirit was telling you to chastise everyone did He tell you to misspell the word reveal on purpose? And don’t try to say you were using old english for just that one word. If you would actually listen to what people were saying instead of trying to find ways to correct them as a first response then you’d understand you are saying the same thing the initial poster said. The spirit of the quote is conveyed but not literally word for word in the Scriptures. I would encourage you to be more curious and look for ways to edify through positive encouragement first before trying to prophesy and point fingers, plank man.

  11. Part of being clean is looking clean. The bible seems to make a connection between clothing and righteousness. Discover for yourself:
    Lev 20 : 7
    Isa 61 : 10
    Gal 3 : 26
    Rev 7 : 9-17
    Rev 19 : 4-8

  12. I am just a bit concerned about omitting those unsaved people due to the physical condition they are in lacking cleanliness. Salvation is for delivering from darkness into light.

  13. In my view, God is now more concerned with inner (spiritual) cleanliness than outer (physical) cleanliness. Examples: The story of Lazarus in Luke 16, Jesus said Lazarus lived outside the gate of a rich man; he was FULL of sores, so much so that dogs licked them. But Lazarus (whose name means ‘God has helped’ or ‘God will help’) loved God. He was spiritually clean. And that thread runs through the New Testament.
    Matt 23:25-28, Mark 1:6, Rom 12:11-14, 1 Thess 4:7.

  14. Nice perspective on spiritual cleanliness, thanks for sharing with out readers :-).

  15. I thank God for you that today we have more compitent teachers of bible.The more important area to clean is the mind and this envolve spiritual exercise.Remember the pharises who watsh the back port and forget the inside.God bless you. Evng,Emeka.

  16. One needs the grace of Jesus Christ and guidance by the holy spirit to see ‘Cleanliness’ in white wherever it is mentioned in the bible. Needless to say’ to appreciate that the blood of the lamb ‘washes the robes white’ as per Rev 7:14

  17. “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Matt 15:2

    Clean on the inside not the outside. God is Pure, Clean, Spotless as we are in him. So technically you are being deceived when you are “quoted” that idea, it is misused and not appropriate to use in such a manner.

  18. One can be clean outwardly but very dirty inside him. Though this sentence is not in the bible, it’s useful in teaching and corrections.

  19. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophesy of this book if anyone adds to these things GOD will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. If anyone takes away from this prophesy of this book God shall take away a part from the book of life from the holy city and from the things which are written in this book Revelations 22:18-19

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *