Manners & Customs: Earrings
Wearing Earrings in the ancient Biblical world
Earrings in Easton's Bible Dictionary
rings properly for the ear (Gen. 35:4; Num. 31:50; Ezek.
In Gen. 24:47 the word means a nose-jewel, and is so
the Revised Version. In Isa. 3:20 the Authorized
"ear-rings," and the Revised Version "amulets," which
correctly represents the original word (lehashim),
incantations; charms, thus remedies against
either suspended from the neck or in the ears of
Ear-rings were ornaments used by both sexes (Ex.
Earrings in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
nezem, which also includes the nose ring hanging on one side
of the nose (Genesis 24:47, where the words "upon her face"
imply either a nose ring or one to be hung from her
forehead, Genesis 35:4). Circular, as its other name 'agil
implies. Oriental men wore them as well as women. Judges
8:24 seems to imply that the Israelite men did not wear
them, as did the Ishmaelites; but Exodus 32:2 proves that
young "sons" wore them. There were besides netiphot (Judges
8:26), not "collars" but pearlshaped "ear drops," or jewels
attached to the rings, or else pendent scent bottles, or
pendants from the neck on the breast, "Chains" KJV (Isaiah
3:19; Isaiah 3:21), "earrings" (leehashim, from laachash "to
whisper"), AMULETS with magic inscriptions, and so
surrendered along with the idols by Jacob's household
The best use made of them was that in Numbers 31:50,
an offering to the Lord to "make atonement for souls"; not
that our gifts can wipe away guilt, but acknowledgments of
God's grace not being offered in loving gratitude evince an
unatoned state, and so a state of guilt. When offered in
loving faith, they evidence and seal visibly our reception
of the atonement (Luke 7:44-47). The "phylacteries,"
headbands, totapkot (Matthew 23:5) in the Talmudists'
opinion were the sanctioned antidote to the idolatrous
amulets and "earrings" (Deuteronomy 6:7-8; Deuteronomy
11:18-19; contrast Hosea 2:13; Isaiah 3:21, lechashim. But
the language in Deuteronomy and in Exodus 13:9; Exodus 13:16
is rightly taken by the Karaite Jews as proverbial, not
literal; as is apparent from the reason added, "that the law
of Jehovah may be in thy mouth"; for it is by receiving the
law into the heart, and by keeping it, that it would be
naturally on the tongue continually.
God does not say that His law was to be written upon
scrolls, but to be "for a sign upon thine hand, and for a
memorial between thine eyes," i.e., was to be kept in view
like memorials upon the forehead and the hand, the prominent
visible parts symbolizing respectively open confession and
action (Revelation 13:16; Revelation 22:4). This view is
proved by Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 4:21; Proverbs 6:21-22;
Proverbs 7:3. But latterly the Jews used the "phylacteries,"
totaphot, or tephillim, prayer fillets, parchment strips
with sentences of the law, bound on the forehead or left arm
Earrings in Naves Topical Bible
For the golden calf
For the tabernacle
-Worn for idolatrous purposes
Ge 35:4; Isa 3:20
Earrings in Smiths Bible Dictionary
The material of which earrings were made was generally gold,
Ex 32:2 and their form circular. They were worn by women and
by youth of both sexes. These ornaments appear to have been
regarded with superstitious reverence as an amulet. On this
account they were surrendered along with the idols by Jacob's
household. Ge 35:4 Chardin describes earrings with talismanic
figures and characters on them as still existing in the East.
Jewels were sometimes attached to the rings. The size of the
earrings still worn in eastern countries far exceeds what is
usual among ourselves; hence they formed a handsome present,
Job 42:11 or offering to the service of God. Nu 31:50
Earrings in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
er'-ring: An ornamental pendant of some kind hanging from
the ears has been worn by both sexes in oriental lands from
the earliest times. Among the Greeks and Romans, as with
western peoples in general, its use was confined to females.
The ears in the statue of the Medicean Venus are pierced and
probably were originally ornamented with earrings. It is
clear, however, that among the Hebrews and related oriental
peoples earrings were worn by both sexes. Abraham's servant
"put the earring upon (Rebekah's) face, and the bracelets
upon her hands" (Gen 24:47 the King James Version), in
accordance with custom, evidently, but it is implied that it
was customary for men also to wear earrings, in that the
relatives and friends of Job "every one (gave him) an
earring of gold" (Job 42:11 the King James Version). Such
ornaments were usually made of gold, finely wrought, and
often set with precious stones, as archaeology has shown.
Such jewels were worn in ancient times for protective as
well as for decorative purposes. the Revised Version
(British and American) renders "amulets" for the King James
Version "earrings" in Isa 3:20, the Hebrew word (lechashim)
being elsewhere associated with serpent-charming; but the
earrings of Gen 35:4, also, were more than mere ornaments,
so the King James Version and the Revised Version (British
and American) may both be right in their renderings here
(Kennedy). The influence of Egypt, where amulets of various
kinds were worn by men and gods, by the living and the dead,
is shown by recent excavations at Gezer, Taanach and
Earrings Scripture - Exodus 32:2
And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which
[are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your
daughters, and bring [them] unto me.
Earrings Scripture - Exodus 32:3
And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were]
in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron.
Earrings Scripture - Exodus 35:22
And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing
hearted, [and] brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and
tablets, all jewels of gold: and every man that offered
[offered] an offering of gold unto the LORD.
Earrings Scripture - Ezekiel 16:12
And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears,
and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
Earrings Scripture - Genesis 35:4
And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which [were] in
their hand, and [all their] earrings which [were] in their
ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which [was] by Shechem.
Earrings Scripture - Hosea 2:13
And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she
burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her
earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and
forgat me, saith the LORD.
Earrings Scripture - Isaiah 3:20
The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands,
and the tablets, and the earrings,
Earrings Scripture - Judges 8:24
And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you,
that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For
they had golden earrings, because they [were] Ishmaelites.)
Earrings Scripture - Judges 8:25
And they answered, We will willingly give [them]. And they
spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings
of his prey.
Earrings Scripture - Judges 8:26
And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a
thousand and seven hundred [shekels] of gold; beside
ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that [was] on the
kings of Midian, and beside the chains that [were] about their
Earrings Scripture - Numbers 31:50
We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what
every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and
bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement
for our souls before the LORD.
Among the women there was more apt to be ornamentation than among the men. Peter and Paul condemned an elaborate braiding of women's hair (I Peter 3:3; 1 Timothy 2:9), and the use of ornaments may possibly have been involved in the custom. Earrings were at one time worn by the women of Jacob's family (Genesis 35:4). And the golden earrings of the Israelitish women contributed to the making by Aaron of the golden calf (Exodus 32:2). These earrings, as now worn in the East, have as their main design the form of balls, long pendants, crescents, or disks. On behalf of his master, Abraham's servant had two bracelets ready to give Rebekah (Genesis 24:22). In recent years these are made of gold, silver, brass, or colored glass. In the third chapter of his prophecy, Isaiah lists many feminine ornaments. Necklaces or pendants are referred to also (Isaiah 3:19). Today they take the form of balls, squares, or hollow cylinders. Anklets, now having bells and disks attached, are also mentioned in this chapter (Isaiah 3:18). These are worn by Bedouin women today. Noserings also worn by these women were a part of Isaiah's list of feminine ornaments (Isaiah 3:21) Amulets were worn in Isaiah's day (Isaiah 3:20) and still are worn in the East as a charm to protect a person from various kinds of evil. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]
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