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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

tam'-uz, tam'-mooz (tammuz; Thammouz):

(1) The name of a Phoenician deity, the Adonis of the Greeks. He was originally a Sumerian or Babylonian sun-god, called Dumuzu, the husband of Ishtar, who corresponds to Aphrodite of the Greeks. The worship of these deities was introduced into Syria in very early times under the designation of Tammuz and Astarte, and appears among the Greeks in the myth of Adonis and Aphrodite, who are identified with Osiris and Isis of the Egyptian pantheon, showing how widespread the cult became. The Babylonian myth represents Dumuzu, or Tammuz, as a beautiful shepherd slain by a wild boar, the symbol of winter. Ishtar long mourned for him and descended into the underworld to deliver him from the embrace of death (Frazer, Adonis, Attis and Osiris). This mourning for Tammuz was celebrated in Babylonia by women on the 2nd day of the 4th month, which thus acquired the name of Tammuz (see CALENDAR). This custom of weeping for Tammuz is referred to in the Bible in the only passage where the name occurs (Ezekiel 8:14). The chief seat of the cult in Syria was Gebal (modern Gebail, Greek Bublos) in Phoenicia, to the South of which the river Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim) has its mouth, and its source is the magnificent fountain of Apheca (modern `Afqa), where was the celebrated temple of Venus or Aphrodite, the ruins of which still exist. The women of Gebal used to repair to this temple in midsummer to celebrate the death of Adonis or Tammuz, and there arose in connection with this celebration those licentious rites which rendered the cult so infamous that it was suppressed by Constantine the Great.

The name Adonis, by which this deity was known to the Greeks, is none other than the Phoenician 'Adhon, which is the same in Hebrew. His death is supposed to typify the long, dry summer of Syria and Palestine, when vegetation perishes, and his return to life the rainy season when the parched earth is revivified and is covered with luxuriant vegetation, or his death symbolizes the cold, rough winter, the boar of the myth, and his return the verdant spring.

Considering the disgraceful and licentious rites with which the cult was celebrated, it is no wonder that Ezekiel should have taken the vision of the women weeping for Tammuz in the temple as one of the greatest abominations that could defile the Holy House.


(2) The fourth month of the Jewish year, corresponding to July. The name is derived from that of a Syrian god, identified with Adonis (Ezekiel 8:14).

See above, and CALENDAR.

H. Porter

Strong's Hebrew
8542. Tammuz -- a Bab. god
... 8541, 8542. Tammuz. 8543 . a Bab. god. Transliteration: Tammuz Phonetic
Spelling: (tam-mooz') Short Definition: Tammuz. Word Origin ...
/hebrew/8542.htm - 5k

The Apology of Aristides the Philosopher. Translated from the ...
... And once she had Ares as a lover, and again Adonis who is Tammuz. ... And again
they say of Tammuz that he is a god. And he is, forsooth! ...
/.../kay/the apology of aristides the philosopher/the apology of aristides the.htm

Syriac Calendar.
... March / Adar / Adar. April / Nisan / Nisan. May / Ajar / Zif, or Iyar. June / Chaziran /
Sivan. July / Tamuz / Tammuz. August / Ab / Ab. September / Elul / Elul ...
//christianbookshelf.org/unknown/the decretals/syriac calendar.htm

Israel in Canaan.
... Baal to whom the Phoenicians were devoted, and an especial Ashtoreth, the moon,
or Queen of Heaven, who was thought to have a lover named Tammuz, who died with ...
//christianbookshelf.org/yonge/the chosen people/lesson v israel in canaan.htm

Some General Matters and Some Biblical Characters. The Bible Book ...
... 2. Iyar or Ziv April and May. 3. Sivan May and June. 4. Tammuz June and
July. 5. Ab July and August. 6. Elul August and September. ...
/.../chapter viii some general matters.htm

Chapter xxxviii
... They that think the Scriptures to be on the same level with folklore generally here
attempt to establish a parallel between this story and the Tammuz myth or ...
/.../leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xxxviii.htm

Letter Lviii. To Paulinus.
... spot in the whole world of which the psalmist sings: "the truth hath sprung out
of the earth," [1769] was overshadowed by a grove of Tammuz, [1770] that is of ...
/.../jerome/the principal works of st jerome/letter lviii to paulinus.htm

Appendix v. Rabbinic Theology and Literature
... These are the twelve months of the year: Nisan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Abh, Elul,
Tishri, Marcheshvan, Kislev, Tebheth, Shebhat, Adar (thus the number twelve is ...
/.../the life and times of jesus the messiah/appendix v rabbinic theology and.htm

The Last King of Judah
... At a gate leading from the outer to the inner court he was shown "women weeping
for Tammuz," and within "the inner court of the Lord's house, . . . ...
/.../white/the story of prophets and kings/chapter 36 the last king.htm

Ancient Chaldaea
... and he must struggle with it."* The priestess conducted her prisoner to Uruk, but
the city at that moment was celebrating the festival of Tammuz, and Gilgames ...
/.../chapter iancient chaldaea.htm

Chapter xxxvii
... narrowness! To conceive of the narrative as a Hebrew version of the Tammuz legend
is simply a farfetched vagary. HOMILETICAL SUGGESTIONS. ...
/.../leupold/exposition of genesis volume 1/chapter xxxvii.htm

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

abstruse; concealed; consumed

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(sprout of life), properly "the Tammuz," the article indicating that at some time or other the word had been regarded as an appellative. (Ezekiel 8:14) Jerome identifies Tammuz with Adonis, of Grecian mythology, who was fabled to have lost his wife while hunting, by a wound from the tusk of a wild boar. He was greatly beloved by the goddess Venus, who was inconsolable at his loss. His blood according to Ovid produced the anemone, but according to others the adonium, while the anemone sprang from the tears of Venus. A festival in honor of Adonis was celebrated at Byblus in Phoenicia and in most of the Grecian cities, and even by the Jews when they degenerated into idolatry. It took place in July, and was accompanied by obscene rites.

ATS Bible Dictionary

A Syrian idol, mentioned in Ezekiel 8:14, where the women are represented as weeping for it. It is generally supposed that Tammuz was the same deity as the Phoenician Adonis, and perhaps the Egyptian Osiris. The fabled death and restoration of Adonis, supposed to symbolize the departure and return of the sun, were celebrated at the summer solstice first with lamentation, and then with rejoicing and obscene revels.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
A corruption of Dumuzi, the Accadian sun-god (the Adonis of the Greeks), the husband of the goddess Ishtar. In the Chaldean calendar there was a month set apart in honour of this god, the month of June to July, the beginning of the summer solstice. At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat "weeping for Tammuz" (Ezek. 8:14).

The name, also borrowed from Chaldea, of one of the months of the Hebrew calendar.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A deity among the ancient Syrians, in honor of whom the Hebrew idolatresses held an annual lamentation. This deity has been conjectured to be the same with the Phoenician Adon, or Adonis.

2. (n.) The fourth month of the Jewish ecclesiastical year, -- supposed to correspond nearly with our month of July.

Tammuz (1 Occurrence)
... At this festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations,
bewailed the funeral of the god, they sat "weeping for Tammuz" (Ezek. ...TAMMUZ. ...
/t/tammuz.htm - 10k

... Noah Webster's Dictionary (n.) Alt. of Tammuz. Int. Standard Bible
Encyclopedia. THAMMUZ. tham'-uz (tammuz). See TAMMUZ. ...
/t/thammuz.htm - 6k

Fasts (3 Occurrences)
... POST-EXILIC 1. Feast of Dedication, 25th Kiclew 2. Fast of Esther, 13th 'Adhar 3.
Feast of Purim, 14th 'Adhar 4. Fast of the Fourth Month, 17th Tammuz 5. Fast ...
/f/fasts.htm - 21k

Feasts (45 Occurrences)
... POST-EXILIC 1. Feast of Dedication, 25th Kiclew 2. Fast of Esther, 13th 'Adhar 3.
Feast of Purim, 14th 'Adhar 4. Fast of the Fourth Month, 17th Tammuz 5. Fast ...
/f/feasts.htm - 36k

... is the Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim), which comes down from 'Afqa (Apheca equals Aphek,
Joshua 13:4), noted for the rites of Venus and Adonis (see TAMMUZ); and the ...
/p/phoenicians.htm - 38k

Phoenicia (6 Occurrences)
... is the Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim), which comes down from 'Afqa (Apheca equals Aphek,
Joshua 13:4), noted for the rites of Venus and Adonis (see TAMMUZ); and the ...
/p/phoenicia.htm - 40k

Gebal (3 Occurrences)
... of Beltis and, later, of Adonis, whose rites were celebrated yearly at the river
of the same name and at its source in the mountain, at Apheca (see TAMMUZ). ...
/g/gebal.htm - 11k

Fast (157 Occurrences)
... (1.) The fast of the fourth month, kept on the seventeenth day of Tammuz, the
anniversary of the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; to commemorate also the ...
/f/fast.htm - 49k

Tamed (1 Occurrence)

/t/tamed.htm - 6k

Tamper (1 Occurrence)

/t/tamper.htm - 7k

Bible Concordance
Tammuz (1 Occurrence)

Ezekiel 8:14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of Yahweh's house which was toward the north; and see, there sat the women weeping for Tammuz.



Tammuz: A Syrian Idol

Related Terms


Fasts (3 Occurrences)

Feasts (45 Occurrences)


Phoenicia (6 Occurrences)

Gebal (3 Occurrences)

Fast (157 Occurrences)

Tamed (1 Occurrence)

Tamper (1 Occurrence)




Adonis (1 Occurrence)

Astarte (2 Occurrences)

Ashtoreth (3 Occurrences)

Hadadrimmon (1 Occurrence)

Hadad-rimmon (1 Occurrence)

Idolatry (14 Occurrences)

Entry (36 Occurrences)

Religion (23 Occurrences)

Babylonia (17 Occurrences)

Assyria (124 Occurrences)

Queen (59 Occurrences)


Cyrus (20 Occurrences)

Mourning (85 Occurrences)

Images (158 Occurrences)


Minor (2 Occurrences)

Asia (22 Occurrences)

Heaven (653 Occurrences)

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