Proverbs 11:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Proverbs 11:22, NIV: "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion."

Proverbs 11:22, ESV: "Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion."

Proverbs 11:22, KJV: "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."

Proverbs 11:22, NASB: "As a ring of gold in a pig’s snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion."

Proverbs 11:22, NLT: "A beautiful woman who lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout."

Proverbs 11:22, CSB: "A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pig's snout."

What does Proverbs 11:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Women in Israel often wore nose rings for ornamental purposes, as is common in many cultures throughout the world, even today. The comparison made here is meant to be slightly shocking, as pigs were considered unclean animals. Beauty is represented by something small and insignificant, as compared to the disgusting, filthy, and enormous problem of indiscretion.

The virtue praised here is what modern English speakers would call "good taste." This is a person's awareness of what is appropriate, respectable, well-mannered, or dignified. A woman with "discretion," in this case, is one who acts sensibly and with self-control, as opposed to one who is crude, offensive, or "tacky."

Proverbs 31:10 describes a truly virtuous woman as "far more precious than jewels." The apostle Peter stresses that genuine attractiveness is not achieved by adorning the body but by adorning "the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious" (1 Peter 3:4).

Queen Jezebel's death provided a grisly example of the difference between outward beauty and inner discretion. She is traditionally assumed to be very beautiful, but clearly lacked moral character. On balance, in the eyes of God, she was ugly as a pig (Proverbs 6:16–19). She wickedly killed the Lord's prophets (1 Kings 18:4), led Israel into Baal worship (1 Kings 21:25–26), and put a contract on the life of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 19:1–2). The earth's last glimpse of Jezebel saw her with a painted face and an adorned head (2 Kings 9:30). But moments later, she was thrown from a window, trampled by horses, and eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:31–37). Her lack of morality brought her to a horrific end.