And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you,
&c.] Which he thought they would scarcely deny, and it was now a fair opportunity to make it, since they had offered him a crown, or to be king over them: and the favour he asked was,
that you would give me every man the earrings of his prey;
or, "an earring of his prey"; for it is in the singular number; every man one earring, as Abarbinel interprets it; for though they might have more, yet only one ear ring of every man is desired:
for they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites;
so the Midianites and Ishmaelites are spoken of as the same, they being mixed and dwelling together, or very near each other, ( Genesis 37:25 Genesis 37:28 Genesis 37:36 ) and Kimchi accounts for it thus, why the Midianites are called Ishmaelites; because they were the sons of Keturah, and Keturah was Hagar the mother of Ishmael. The Targum calls them Arabians, and who it seems used to wear earrings, as men in the eastern countries did; see ( Genesis 35:4 ) ( Exodus 32:2 Exodus 32:3 ) . So Pliny says F3 in the east it was reckoned ornamental for men to wear gold in their ears.
F3 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 37.