And Aaron said unto them
Perceiving that they were not to be dissuaded from their evil counsel, and diverted from their purpose, but were determined at all events to have an image made to represent God unto them in a visible manner:
break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives,
of your sons, and of your daughters;
these were some of the jewels in gold they had borrowed of the Egyptians; and it seems that, in those times and countries, men, as well as women, used to wear earrings, and so Pliny F23 says, in the eastern countries men used to wear gold in their ears; and this may be confirmed from the instance of the Ishmaelites and Midianites, ( Judges 8:24 ) . Aaron did not ask the men for theirs, but for those of their wives and children; it may be, because he might suppose they were more fond of them, and would not so easily part with them, hoping by this means to have put them off of their design:
and bring [them] unto me;
to make a god of, as they desired, that is, the representation of one.
F23 Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 37.