Don’t Call It Tammuz!

weeping for Tammuz, Dumuzi, Jews, Fourth Hebrew Month, Tammuz, pagan fertility deity, Ezekiel, prophet, vision, Temple, Jerusalem, Yehovah's house, weeping for Tammuz, Ezekiel 8:14, 19th century, archaeologists, archaeological, remains, ancient, pagan, religion, Israelites, fertility god, life cycle, wheat, Israel, Summer, seed, Winter, rains, ancient pagans, agricultural cycle, death, resurrection, babylonian, monument, Arad, Canaanite, Arad Stela, Early Bronze Age, grain deity, Jewish tradition, Bible, rabbinical Jews, fast, 17th day"and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz." Ezekiel 8:14

Most modern Jews refer to the Fourth Hebrew Month as "Tammuz", the name of a pagan fertility deity mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel. The prophet Ezekiel described a vision in which an angel brought him to the Temple in Jerusalem:

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

In the 19th century, archaeologists began to uncover archaeological remains that shed light on the ancient pagan religion that led the Israelites astray. Today we know the women were weeping over Tammuz, because he was a fertility god who represented the life cycle of wheat. In Israel, wheat becomes ripe in early Summer when the wheat plant dies, leaving behind a viable seed that can be planted the next year. The Winter rains provide moisture,  causing the new wheat crop to rise out of the ground. Unlike in Europe and North America, the Summer in Israel is characterized by a dry period with no rain in which everything green dies and the Winter is characterized by rain with abundant growth and life. The ancient pagans believed that this agricultural cycle of Summer death and Winter rebirth was a shadow picture of the life of Tammuz. The god Tammuz died in early Summer leaving behind the life giving food that sustained the world; then he was resurrected in the Winter, beginning the cycle again.

Tammuz is often thought to be a Babylonian fertility god. However, a stone monument discovered at Arad in southern Israel may be the earliest representation of the Canaanite Tammuz. The "Arad Stela" (see above image) dating to the Early Bronze Age shows a personified grain deity standing and lying down. Archaeologists have suggested that this represents the death and resurrection of Tammuz.

Later Israelites in the time of Ezekiel adopted this pagan belief. The women were weeping over Tammuz because of his tragic death, which brought life to the world.

Today, echoes of the worship of Tammuz survive in Jewish tradition. The name Tammuz itself only appears in the Bible in reference to this pagan deity. However, Jewish tradition adopted the name "Tammuz" for the Fourth Hebrew Month. Over the centuries the pagan origins of the "Month of Tammuz" were forgotten, only to be rediscovered in modern times. Jewish tradition considers Tammuz to be a month of mourning, and rabbinical Jews even observe a fast on the 17th day of the month. They also refrain from listening to music and other joyous acts from the 17th to the end of the month. The origins of these mourning practices have become obscured over time, and today tradition associates them with the destruction of the Temple. Little do they know that mourning during the Month of Tammuz began long before the destruction of the Temple with a mourning over the death of Tammuz.

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  • Sandy says:

    How is Jesus any different than Tammuz? It appears to me that when Paul took Jesus to the Gentiles they just made him into another one of their deities.

    • Adam says:

      Have you read the Book of Judas? I try to study and test everything. I will say, with all my research, there are things that kind of blew my mind because there were many proper understandings/interpretations that I came across that most throw away because they don’t have the understanding for it. You’re question is actually addressed by “Jesus” in those writings. Discernment is required in seeking Him, and He is the only one that can open your ‘eyes’ to His ‘things’. Just happen to see your comment before leaving the site and felt a desire to leave this comment. May He bless you and keep you in His protection through your seeking!

  • Gary says:

    Alot of debate has been drawn over lent and 40 days people call the weeping for Tammuz. Lent itself comes from the sanhedrin writings itself.Here is what is written in Baraitha Bab. Sanhedrin 43a, probably second century:

    On the eve of Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, “He is going forth to be stoned because he has practiced sorcery and enticed Israel to apostasy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.” But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover! – Ulla retorted: Do you suppose that he was one for whom a defence could be made? Was he not a _Mesith_ [enticer], concerning him Scripture says, _Neither shalt though spare, neither shalt thou conceal him?_ With Yeshu however it was different, for he was connected with the government for royalty [i.e., influential]. Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni, and Todah.

    See sanhedrin 43a.

  • Alicia says:

    I knew it! The name Tammuz is pagan! I name the Jewish month number 4

  • Abigail says:

    Hello Nehemia. U often say “Christians” did this and that when describing the horrors done actually for the most part by Catholicism. Catholicism is NOT Christian and vise versa. Yes, some true Christians may have participated but a true believer would not participate in such practices. Why, bcause if led by Ruach Ha Chodesh, they’re appalled by such horrendous acts. Once u can distinguish between the two, u’ll b able t separate the historical facts and many things will begin t come into focus. I realize I may b stoned fr speaking truth; however, it’s time fr truth t come forth. Thank u fr ur teachings. Shalom

    • What a wonderful example of the No True Scotsman fallacy!

      • No, because NTS is a fallacy for there exists no premise in the definition of “Scotsman” which makes such acts impossible (or even unlikely). In the case of Christians, the premise is that a Christian, per definition is a person that follows the example of Yeshua of Nazareth; making it imposible to be a true Christian a person that would commit acts of cruelty. Extensively, since Yeshua was a practicing Jew, a true Jew would not do such things either; as Paul said, Jew is the one that is (Jew) in the inside.

        • Gary Michaels says:

          Born a Jew, I nevertheless spent some three decades on the christian side of things, attending evangelical and baptist churches during those years. NO MORE, and not for several years now!

          I’m slow, to say the least, because it took me that long to realize that christians wouldn’t necessarily know the truth if it jumped up and bit them on the…er…well…um ankles—that’s right, if it jumped up and bit them on the ankles! There’s this underlying self-notion—or, more appropriately, an ‘air’ about christians—that contends that “their own dung stinketh not!” That’s not only something NOT supported by the Tanakh, it doesn’t exist in the NT either. Even more importantly, life itself offers up substantial evidence to the contrary. Yet I’d even heard pastors tell their congregations they don’t need to apologize to any one for the then current, lacking state of christianity.

          So your claim that a person’s designation as christian precludes them from evil is preposterous, and only bolsters Nehemia’s statement about NTS. MY conscience and my experience over the last 5 or 6 years have taught me that I should no longer be quoting the NT so I won’t, but the proof of what I am saying IS in there. Better yet, find it in the original—the Tanakh.

          • JakeHAVA says:

            Gary Michaels, for the most part, according to the evidence that this family has found, what you say is very close to the truth. There is, and has been for thousands of years, a great deception presented in many forms that we humans of all “religions” have grabbed onto hook, line and sinker. A few somehow, miraculously, find their way out of this great deception. There is one verse in what people call the “new testament” that reveals who these people who truly belong to our Creator are. And, they are chosen by Him and no one else. It is those few chosen who have been able to dig through the layer upon layer of misinformation and lies found in both current collections of writings that you refer to and have been able to come to a knowledge of the truth and live by it.

            Yara shalam

        • Karen Powell says:

          It’s histerical that the name Hamish McDonald is used in the NTS example.Considering the Massacre of Glencoe .When the Campbells slaughtered the Wedding of the MacDonalds.Even nawing /hacking off the brides ring. Hamish McDonald wuldn’t know much about history and would have been coming from an erronous position to start with. Abigail is addressing basically how the world assumes that Catholism and Christainity is not the same. Yet is assumed to be so. Just because.Eli and his sons were decended from Aaron,were performing services,carrying the Ark does not mean that YHVH was happy with them.They had the credentials and looked like God’s chosen Priests.But they were Sons of Belial.Not Sons of God.

      • D says:

        So what is the month actually called?

  • Kesarit M says:

    Blessings in Yehovah!! read Jude 1:3-5.

  • Gnarlodious says:

    The reason it is so shocking that the Israelites might worship a “pagan fertility deity” is that you are wrong. Every assumption made about Tammuz (Thomas) is wrong, it is a legend nobody understands. We like our explanation because it is far easier and soothing to believe a story that the Israelites were sinners than it is to accept that it is us who are ignorant. And worse yet, that it is God who has made us ignorant, that God has hidden the knowledge from us for a good reason. Ouch, that hurts.

    So getting back to the riddle:
    1) Why does it say that the “house of God” is under the north star?
    2) Why is it that the women yearn for Tamuz, and not the men?
    3) Why do they wait for Tamuz under the north star?
    4) Why does the preceding verse tell us that Tamuz was worshipped by “the elders of the house of Israel” (verse 12), who are being vilified by the “elders of Judah” (verse 1)?

    Hint on solving the riddle: In ancient times the north star was called “the star of Mary”.

    • Gary Michaels says:

      I really don’t know how to parse your comment as a whole. It would be easier for me to follow if you would just come out and state what you mean in plain language.

      • Gnarlodious says:

        The story is a small part of an ongoing dispute that ended in a civil war in which Israel was conquered militarily by Judah. The dispute that this story addresses is the expected gender of the Moshiach, the Judahites insisting it could only be a male and the Israelites insisting it must be a female, albeit a parthenogenetic female. This may remind you of a certain Christian doctrine for good reason. This reproductive aspect is symbolized by the wheat, the roasted grain the Kohen was to eat from the altar, representing the sacred seed he carried. The grain that was to be the seed from which the Moshiach will be resurrected. And the Jews possessed the glorious lineage of male Kohenim, the conspicuous centerpiece of their religion.

        The Israelites however possessed their own equal and opposite Kohenim, who were really Kohenot, the lineage of females matrilineally descended from Miriam. Their existence is largely obfuscated in the Torah, only indirect references are made to them due to the increasing hostility between the two sects. Technically the Kohen Gadol was supposed to be a male patrilineally descended from Aaron and matrilineally descended from Miriam, but it could never happen because the Israelites, later known as Samaritans, had absconded with the descendants of Miriam. The ‘shomer’ of the Shomronim (Samaritans) was the ‘guarding’ of the lineage of Miriam, whose matrilineal descendants were secreted away in the difficult hill country of Samaria out of the reach of the Judahites.

        This special male child of both lineages was Tammuz, the child that could not be born because of the hostility between the male and female kohen lineages, and between Judah and Israel. This is what the women at the north gate were mourning over, the boy child Tamuz being a metaphor for the child of Mary the Moshiach. Notice a huge doctrinal dispute here. Judaism insists the Moshiach must be a male. Israelite/Samaritan religion had her as a woman raised on a pole and bearing a single son, the Queen of Heaven. This brings us to the north star, Polaris, in ancient times called the “Star of Mary”, the pole star that Mary or Asherah was lifted up on. This might sound vaguely like a Christian doctrine, as centuries of revisions corrupted the original mythology.

        Tammuz today is the season of the sun (son) at its highest elevation, the summer solstice. A little piece of the Israelite Miriam religion snuck into Jewish culture just to remind us that the battle of the sexes has not yet been resolved.

    • Bob says:

      If we’re working on the assumption that they’re weeping for the god and not a human, I’d posit that only the women were involved because agriculture was chiefly a ladies’ thing in a lot of cultures leading back into matriarchal periods

  • Juan Beltran says:

    Base on this study , could you tell me what is the name to use for the 4th Month?

  • Mary says:

    Good information, Nehemia. Thanks.

  • Wow! Great info…. My husband and I just got back from our fist trip to Israel and found it fascinating… One of the things that stuck us both was the openness of the Jewish people to engage us with probing questions of faith and politics… From Rabbi’s to taxi drivers. It was wonderful! No fear of political correct speech there, except on the topic of Jerusalem… That topic was overwhelmingly addressed with a willingness to not see what was happening to this gift of Yah to His Bride… And always with the same statement, well we just want to live in peace… I have no wish to judge them as I don’t know the horror of living in fear of death daily. But it struck me that the further away from The Holy City you get that attitude changes… Anyhow I love the history you bring forth… Thank you for your diligence to serve Yehovah with Truth… Blessings >

  • TrueHebrewblood says:

    What be the true names of the months???

    • Jake says:

      Howdy TrueHebrewblood,
      Read the verses referred to below with particular attention given to the word that comes before the word “month” in each verse. These are the names of the “months”:
      Hebrew transliteration
      1Ch 27:2 Rishon
      1Ch 27:4 Shani
      1Ch 27:5 Shelishi
      1Ch 27:7 Rebiyi
      1Ch 27:8 Hamishi
      1Ch 27:9 Shishi
      1Ch 27:10 Shebiyi
      1Ch 27:11 Shemini
      1Ch 27:12 Teshiyi
      1Ch 27:13 Asiri
      1Ch 27:14 Ashtay Asar
      1Ch 27:15 Shenaim Asar

      The “leap” “month” is not named in the writings but can be arrived at by locating the number that corresponds to that “month”. The first place that number appears is in Gen 17:25. The Hebrew transliteration for that number is “Shalosh Asar”.

      We have taught our children these names and the correct time of year to use. We only use the Hebrew transliterations or English translations for these names within our family when referring to the time of year that it is.

      Yara shalam

  • Piper says:

    When you start reading your bible and gaining a deeper understanding, it’s shocking to realize how we’ve been fashioned to worship in vain. All the paganism and traditions we honor are sad. I am trying to get out of the paganism. When I found out about the relation between tammuz in Christmas and Easter I said no more. I was reading on the festivals God said he wanted us to keep. I did a quick google search of the Jewish calendar and I am SHOCKED there’s a month named after tammuz.

    • What a blessing your testimony is.. We too are attempting to shake off tradition and keep Yah’s feasts… But it seems we are steeped it it on every walk of life, almost… Just when you think you’ve purged yourself another truth reminds you, we are just babes trying to find our way to our Father… Blessings to all truth seekers!!! No matter where it leads always seek the truth >

  • Nicholas Mansfield says:

    How then do people end up creating lies which come to be tradition for the cause of vanity? I just fail to understand, for we are given supercomputer brains from the blessed Living God, yet they are running corrupted software packages. Rabbis have preserved some knowledge, and I guess this is the real danger, when they combine a truth with a lie.

  • April says:

    This reminds me of something my mom used to say. It was’t used appropriately as a child, but used in this fashion, it seems apropos.
    “If you’re going to cry, then here’s something worth crying about.”

  • Good article.

  • Stella C. says:

    On the question about why is the Sababth Day called Saturday. The Days of the week were also classified as ” first day, 2nd. day, and etc to the 7th. day. The days of the week had no names ; The 7th. day ( Saturday) as we know it to be the sabbath day; which is on Saturday . The name Saturday was named after the Plant Saturn. Why Saturn? Maybe because whover gave it that name must have been one who use to consider the planets as gods. Monday was named after the Moon.= Moon day the day they worshipped the moon as a diety god. These names for the months and weeks all came out of Babylon worship. They worshipped many gods .

    • Neville says:

      Stella, was this a reply to my question of 7/7/2014 as to why is is “OK” to call the Sabbath or any other day of the week by by their pagan-worship-inspired names?

      If so, I want to clarify. I was not asking how the names came ab out, but how one justifies actually using those names? I know it is difficult to function in our culture(s) today without using those names, but convenience doesn’t seem to be a reasonable excuse.

  • b. o. says:

    Nehemiah… my rabbinic-messianic teacher says he thinks Yahshua’s ministry was at lest 5 years minimum since He was called “rabboni”, and that was a title only given to a rabbi who had a minimum of 5 years teaching the Torah, and living it out… and that the 5 years always started with a baptism and a 40-day period in the wilderness. Is this true? Mike Rood teaches the 70 -day ministry of Yahshua, and the insertion of the verse in John that was wrong. But he doesn’t address this rabbinical tradition/teaching. I’d like some clarification please. Thanks and shalom.

  • Joe says:

    Thank you for your education you give. Amazing to consider…

  • Neville says:

    Okay, I’ve just got to ask this. Why is is okay to call the Sabbath day “Saturday” ? (or any of the other pagan-worship-inspired-names-of-days-of-the-week)

  • Russell says:

    Go you good thing! love it. Keep it coming. Love the Truth.

  • Aron says:

    Thanks for the update and clarity.

  • anitajosweet says:

    Thank you for your teachings Nehemia

  • Annette Cohen says:

    Shalom Nehemiah … Thank you for your clear teachings. May your travels be Guided and Blessed!

    Annette Cohen

  • yzquest says:

    May you travel safe and comfortably…

  • Nepheshaish says:

    what should we call the 4th month?