Genesis 35:4, Strange gods …earrings. Strange in Hebrew means “foreign or alien” gods or mighty ones.” Before going up to Bethel to worship Elohim, Jacob instructed the men to put away their idols and remove their earrings, which this passage links to idol worship. It was acceptable for women to wear earrings (Ezek 16:12), but here, strange gods and earrings are linked.
These rings were not worn as mere ornaments, but for superstitious purposes perhaps as amulets or charms. They were first consecrated to some false god, or formed under some constellation, and stamped with magical characters. Maimonides mentions rings and jewels of this kind, with the image of the sun, moon, etc., impressed upon them; and Augustine describes them (Epist. 73,) as used for this execrable purpose.
In the Scriptures, men wearing earrings is often connected to paganism. Note the following Bible passages:
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.” And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” (Exod 32:2)
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.) And they answered, “We will willingly give them.” And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. 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 camels’ necks. And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. (Judg 8:24–27)