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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ēr´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" (Genesis 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 Isaiah 3:20 , the Hebrew word (leḥāshı̄m ) being elsewhere associated with serpent-charming; but the earrings of Genesis 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 Megiddo. See AMULET; ORNAMENT .
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Earring'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/e/earring.html. 1915.