Many youth seem to be confronted by the issue of wearing earrings!
I think it is important to understand the history of wearing ear rings in general before we delve into scripture to see what is found on this important topic. The origin of earrings by men, was found in the indo-aryan tribes which were a part of Iran.
Now these practices spread throughout all of the middle east include Palestine, Israel and Egypt. The men would wear their earrings as a sign of belonging to their idols. As with anything that is of demonic origen it spreads quickly and many people begin to follow practices that are displeasing to God.
In fact we see that the first mention of wearing Earrings in the bible is found in Gen 35:1-4 when Jacob admonishes his people for following foreign God’s and asks the men to take of their earrings.
“So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.” Gen 35:4
This is a very clear indication that the wearing of earrings was seen as a link between you and foreign idolatrous practices. It is also important to know the background behind this move by Jacob.
In Genesis 33, Jacob’s family had been drawn to the ways of the Canaanite city Shalem. While Jacob built an altar to the Lord, his children were attracted to heathen ways. The result was that Jacob’s daughter Dinah was defiled, her brothers killed the Canaanites, and they took the spoil of the city.
In Genesis 35:24, Israel was to give up the spoil of the city Shalem. They were commanded to put away strange gods, be clean, and change garments. This tells us that they possessed Canaanite idols, Canaanite perversions, and ungodly Canaanite garments, for their response was to give Jacob the idols and their earrings, and he buried them under the oak. Where did they get their earrings? >From the Canaanite men they killed in Shalem.
Moving on…… Now Jacob had 12 sons, one of which was Joseph, who was sold as a slave into Egypt, and later became in charge of rationing food in the big famine that struck. Now his family in Israel was also in famine and they came to Egypt as we all now. Now this group of people would later become enslaved under the pharohs of Egypt.
Further a leader by the name of Moses would rise amongst them who would later stand in front of Ramsis the pharoh and order that the Israelites be freed so they could enter the Promised Land. And as we all know this was granted after the 10 plagues. Now while in egypt the enslaved Jews picked up the same idoltarous practices that were admonished by Jacob in Israel.
In Exodus 32, the people of Israel sank into idolatry while they waited for Moses to bring down the law of God from Mt. Sinai. Aaron supervised building the golden calf for Israel to worship, a form of idolatry learned in Egypt. They had picked up other bad habits from the Egyptians.
“Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. Exo 32:1-3
While the men (These are the wise parents who knew of Jacobs command, the kids of course betrayed their parents, and elders which is very similar to what happens today) of Israel had not stooped to the point of wearing earrings, their sons had! The young men of Israel had been influenced by a heathen society to wear what pertained to women.
When Aaron wanted gold, he told them to “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.” (verse 2).
However when Moses came down from the mountain he burnt the golden calf so that no remembrance of the perversions learnt in Egypt like earrings would remain in God’s chosen people. Now it is time to see if we can find in scripture, evidence that it was good and worthy for woman to wear earrings.
In Isaiah 3:17-20, the daughters of Zion are said to wear earrings.
Ezekiel 16:12 pictures Israel as a beautiful wife who is the object of God’s love. He is heard saying, “I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears.” Again portraying Israel as a beautiful woman betrothed to God.
These are just but a few of the many examples in the bible where we find that woman did indeed wear earrings for adoration not as idolatry practices. So it is safe to say that scripture does indeed make a distinction about men not wearing earrings as opposed to woman wearing earrings.
For those that want to break this command of God, i leave you with the following verse as food for thought.
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deu 22:5