A golden ring in a swine's snout, a woman fair and foolish.
Great Lent, the Fourth Week, Vespers, Proverbs 11:22 from the selection: Prov 11:19-12:6
The Proverbs has many pithy and sometimes humorous phrases.
What a sight it would be to see a woman, beautiful in all ways, except that she has the nose of a pig, with a ring in it! I daresay it would be much easier to avoid the lust of the eyes as soon as our gaze lights upon that nose with that ring!
Perhaps you have the same humorous image I had when I read this verse. Sometimes humor can help us, and although this verse can be thought of as humorous, it speaks of a multitude of sins which we must avoid.
The “Fair (beautiful) and foolish woman (or any person)” is foolish because of their vanity. Their beauty was given by God, or perhaps they altered their image by surgery, but in any case, it was not earned. It is foolish to be proud, but even more so, to be vain about things which are trifles, or which we have no control.
It is also foolish to value external beauty, or money, or anything that is temporary.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
The foolish vain person sees himself in a flattering light, but to God, and those with God's wisdom, he appears foolish. In a like way,
A golden ring in a swine's snout:
a man rich and foolish
a famous man and foolish
a man who is proud of his family, or ethnicity, or education, and foolish.
A pig is an unclean animal. We are unclean when we are proud of our few accomplishments, our looks, or wealth, or position, or anything we have, and do not cultivate the virtues.