As Jacob brings his family back to Canaan, God calls him to build an altar to Him (Gen 35:1), and then Jacob is moved to do the following, of which the part in bold is what this question concerns in Genesis 35:2-4 (NKJV):
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 3 And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. 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.
- What relationship did earrings1 have with idols in worship at this time?
- Why were these items of jewelry (and no others) included in what was buried with the idols?
1 The term is נֶזֶם (nězěm), which may also mean merely ring or nose-ring, according to both Ludwig Koehler, Walter Baumgartner, M. E. J. Richardson, and Johann Jakob Stamm, The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994–2000) and Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977). But the context makes it clear that these are earrings, because it clarifies they were rings "which were in their ears."