Proverbs 11:22

An Attractive Pig?

22a As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout…

1. Our present verse is perhaps the most colorful comparison he makes.

a. Undoubtedly, Solomon intended this verse to strike a funny bone in his readers.

b. The visual picture is so outlandish as to be humorous.

c. The picture is of a pig wearing beautiful gold jewelry.

d. This was written in the day when animals were animals… long before Peta and animals rights groups… long before the time when an abused cat is the headline in the newspaper.

e. This was written long before our yuppie generation began providing psychologists for their dogs; before the days of air-conditioned dog houses; before the use of Ritalin for dogs; and before doggie day care centers and summer camps.

f. In Solomon’s day, the thought of an animal with jewelry on was so outrageous and bizarre it was humorous. In those days, an animal was an animal.

2. To make the image all the more arresting, Solomon stretches the contrast to the ridiculous.

a. The jewelry is GOLD… the most precious of all metals in Solomon’s day. That which is exceptionally beautiful and valuable.

b. And where is this beautiful and expensive jewelry placed? In a swine’s snout!
• Why a swine? Because they were considered exceptionally unclean to Jews.
• And because they ARE unclean by anyone’s standards. They love rolling in the mud and coating themselves in it.
• And to boot—he places the jewel of gold in the pig’s snout! Have you ever seen a pig’s snout? It is disgusting!
• They snort, stick their nose in the mud… quite a disgusting feature on an already unattractive creature!
• A gold necklace around its neck maybe. Even a nice earring would be more agreeable. But IN a pig’s snout—quite revolting!

3. What is Solomon trying to highlight with this image?

a. First of all, how inappropriate… they just don’t seem to go together! Something is wrong with this picture!

b. The jewelry, as beautiful as it is, doesn’t really make the pig any more attractive! A pig’s snout is disgusting even if it is wearing gold jewelry!

c. You can dress up a pig, but its still a pig! It doesn’t change its nature. One grunt and everyone is reminded that this is just a pig. A pig with jewelry is still going to roll in the mud and grunt.

d. Very few people would be fooled by the jewelry. It is easy to see through this poor attempt to dress up a pig.

e. The little piece of jewelry is grossly insufficient to overshadow the pig’s real problem: he’s dirty and ugly and disgusting.

4. Solomon then makes application from the gold bedecked pig to a woman without discretion.

22b So is a fair woman which is without discretion.

1. The comparison:

a. A woman without discretion is like the pig.
• Discretion = taste; judgment;
• A tasteless woman with no common sense; a female fool.

b. Her “fairness” (outward beauty) is like the gold nose ring.

The Four Comparisons

1. How inappropriate!

a. It is inappropriate to dress up a pig and try to make the pig look nice.

b. A gold nose ring and pig’s snout don’t go together.

c. External beauty on a woman who is a pig on the inside doesn’t go together either.

d. Because we are so influenced by sight, we might assume that a woman with beauty is a nice person. Wrong! I’ve known some that were witches—figuratively speaking.

e. Just as it is a waste of fine jewelry putting gold in a pig’s snout, it almost seems like a waste of beauty when attached to a woman who is cruel, vicious, angry, full of hate, maliciousness, etc…

f. A pig doesn’t deserve gold jewelry. A filthy woman without discretion doesn’t deserve external beauty.

g. There is just something altogether inappropriate when you see a beautiful woman who looks so sweet—until she opens her mouth and out comes a cesspool of vileness and wickedness.

h. Your immediate reaction is the same as if you saw a pig with gold jewelry: something is wrong with this picture!

i. This principle is true not only of women—but men too… and children.

j. We have all seen little children who are so cute… so sweet looking… until they open their mouth! What comes out is often shocking! It seems so inappropriate for a cute little kid to behave that way… without discretion… without respect…

k. There is something very ugly living in that beautiful exterior!

2. The jewelry, as beautiful as it is, doesn’t really make the pig any more attractive! A pig’s snout is disgusting even if it is wearing gold.

a. A beautiful body doesn’t enhance very much, the overall impression one gets of a woman without discretion.

b. I wouldn’t want to marry a pig, just because she had nice jewelry and some fancy clothes! Would you?

c. Solomon’s point is that although the gold may be priceless, it FAILED to clean up the overall image of the pig. It did precious little to improve her.

d. All the external beauty… and riches… and fancy clothes… and expensive cars… jewelry… mink stoles… will FAIL to make a woman who is ugly on the inside truly attractive.

e. I Pet. 3:3-4 – your real beauty is inward, not outward. Put the emphasis where God does!

3. Outward beauty does not change the nature of a foolish woman, just as a beautiful nose ring doesn’t change the pig’s nature.

a. She may be beautiful on the outside, but is still a pig on the inside.

b. Hollywood is FULL of these kinds of women (and men!)—Good looking pigs! (Sounds harsh; blame Solomon, not me!)

c. Many of the pigs in Hollywood have become exceptionally wealthy… and influential.

d. Our last president was often seen hob-nobbing with these beautiful pigs.
• They had his ear… and evidently he listened to them too.
• It’s not surprising that Clinton was so soft on the homosexual community that has made such inroads in Hollywood.

e. Don’t be fooled by looks. A person’s facial features, skin color, height, weight, clothes, and build tell you absolutely NOTHING about a person that lives inside that body.
• Some well-dressed, good-looking people are beautiful on the inside too. (Moses; David; Joseph) Some are pigs.
• Some not so well dressed, not so good-looking people are ugly on the inside… mean, cruel, and vicious. Others are gems on the inside.

f. You can dress up a pig, but it is still a pig. Its nature has not been changed.
• II Peter 2:22 – you can wash a sow—even put gold jewelry on her, but she is still a sow on the inside—and will return to her wallowing in the mire!
• While this is talking about false professors in Christ, the principle is the same as in Prov. 11:22 – don’t be fooled by a person’s exterior…
• You can dress a person up with religion too—but it doesn’t change his nature! He is still an unbelieving rebel on the inside… a choir robe doesn’t change that one bit.

g. We are warned NOT to treat men according to what they look like.
• James 2:1-4 – don’t be fooled by their looks… their clothing…
• Don’t treat the well dressed better than the poorly dressed…
• You might be giving a pig a front row seat, and hiding a real gem in the corner!

4. Very few people would be fooled by the jewelry. It is easy to see through this poor attempt to dress up a pig.

a. Most people will not be fooled by a beautiful woman without discretion.

b. It is easy to spot a woman without discretion—as you listen to her speak… and observe what she does.

c. I’ve known some… beautiful on the outside, but not so beautiful on the inside.

d. I remember watching a famous TV evangelist and his wife on TV some years ago. She wore expensive clothes, gobs of make up, rode in fancy cars, had jewelry dangling all over her… but she had no discretion… no judgment… no spiritual discernment. She was easy to spot. The make up was not enough to cover up her nature…

e. Don’t be fooled by a fancy exterior. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

f. Some women think they look pretty sharp… pretty cool. Some young girls think they are cool… Well sure you are—like a pig with gold jewelry! That’s what God thinks of good looks, fancy clothes and being in with the in crowd! A well dressed pig… not very complimentary.

5. The little piece of jewelry is grossly insufficient to overshadow the pig’s real problem: he’s dirty and ugly and disgusting.

a. So too with the woman without discretion. Her looks and clothes will never overshadow her real problem: she’s ugly on the inside!

b. Nothing will change that but the new birth—or if she is saved and has an ugly spirit—repentance!

c. This proverb illustrates a truth about human nature. We are inclined to try to cover up… and make self LOOK good… rather than BE good. Good looks, fancy clothes, or expensive jewelry will never overshadow an ugly heart.

d. Prov. 31:3- beauty is vain… but a woman who fears the Lord—that is a woman with real beauty.

6. This is how GOD sees things.

a. Men might look at a beautiful woman and think that her exceptional good looks will overshadow all other shortcomings.

b. God looks at this beautiful woman without discretion and sees a pig… with a nice nose ring, but still a pig.

c. God sees things as they really are.
• The pig is large. The ring is quite small in comparison.

d. Men might look at a person and see someone who is beautiful… hip… cool… in… popular… in the limelight… and be attracted to that… to that which is superficial and shallow.

e. This proverb warns us to look a little deeper… beyond the fancy clothes to the KIND of person he or she is.

f. It’s what’s inside that counts. Do they fear God? Honor Him? Love the Lord? Serve Him? Or are they out gathering gold earrings to try to cover up the fact that they are not very godly on the inside?

g. Don’t let a gold ring fool you! Don’t judge a book by its cover.

h. A pig is a pig—regardless of how well you dress him or her up.

i. A godly person is godly and beloved of the Lord—regardless of how good looking they are… or what kind of clothes they have on.

j. We need to learn to see people as God sees them.