Weeping for the god Tammuz (Ezek 8:14-8:15)

“Then he brought me

To the entrance

Of the north gate

Of the house

Of Yahweh.

Women were sitting there,

Weeping

For Tammuz.

Then he said to me.

‘Have you seen this?

O son of man!

You will see

Still greater abominations

Than these.’”

Next Yahweh brought Ezekiel to the north gate of the Temple. Women were sitting there weeping for the god Tammuz, a food or vegetation god common among Assyrians and Babylonians. He was the only god explicitly mentioned in this tour of the abominations in Israel. The weeping for the lost of Tammuz was generally around the summer solstice, when the vegetation began to dry out. Thus Tammuz would descent into hell at this time. These women were weeping and mourning for his loss. Interesting enough, the Church of the Nativity of Jesus in Bethlehem was built on an old shrine to Adonis-Tammuz. Once again, in the same terms, Yahweh warned Ezekiel that he had not seen anything yet. There were still greater abominations to come.

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