Ornaments worn in the ear by both men and women. Usually made of gold or silver, they represented valuable possessions and could be used as gifts (Genesis 24:22,
Genesis 24:47), even gifts to God (Exodus 32:2;
Judges 8:24-26). In describing His loving relationship with Israel, God said He had put a ring in her nose and earrings on her ears (Ezekiel 16:12). Before returning to Bethel, Jacob got his family to put away their foreign gods and earrings (Genesis 35:2-4). These may have been magical apparel with engraving of words supposed to ward off evil. Compare
Isaiah 3:20 in KJV (“earrings”) and NAS, NRSV (“amulets”), and NIV (“charms”). More ornamental than the finest gold earring, however, “is the wise reprover on an obedient ear” (Proverbs 25:12). See Jewelry.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'EARRINGS'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".