Who Is Tammuz In The Bible

Who is Tammuz in the Bible? I don’t know. Was he in the Bible? Who knows. Not me, that’s for sure! Ok, I’m just kidding. The god Tammuz appears in a handful of places in the Bible, but biblical scholars have debated about his identity for centuries. Since people still get confused about this character, we figured it would be a great topic to cover here on Logos!

This article takes a closer look at who Tammuz is in the Bible, and what purpose he serves. First of all, it’s important to understand that this article is not out to prove or disprove the existence of God, or whether the Bible or Torah are real or fake texts. The purpose of this article is to clarify what the Bible says about Tammuz, as part of a series exploring myths around ancient mythology.

Tammuz is a Mesopotamian deity who was worshiped during the second millennium before Christ throughout Babylonia, occurring mainly in Eshnunna, at the site of modern Tell Asmar and more recently also in Assyria. His name means ‘faithful son’. He was associated with the season of spring. The name seems to refer to high waters and he may have been deemed responsible for the annual flood which brought fertility to land when crops were planted and water was released from dams that winter.

The Bible refers to Gods love for those that are lost, in their darkness and sin. Tammuz is the pagan god that Noah cursed with death in the earth during his time before the flood. The anounciation of God caused Noah’s Sons to build a monument after they found comfort in knowing they were not alone in their battle against Amalek as they were lead by God into Egypt.

Who Is Tammuz In The Bible

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.

Who Is Tammuz In The Bible

In the various mythological accounts depicting Tammuz/Dumuzi, he plays a variety of roles—from lowly shepherd to divine ruler.[6] One relatively common element, however, is his association with various powerful Goddesses, in particular, the regal Ishtar/Inanna. As his mythical/religious import is particularly dependent upon these relationships, it follows that an exploration of these various accounts is the best way to gain insight into the god’s character.

The multifaceted relationship between Inanna and Dumuzi, which was characterized equally by sensuous, erotic love and bitter recriminations, provides fodder for a considerable body of Sumerian and Babylonian mythology.

In the first case, the amorous component of their relationship is baldly attested to in a large corpus of pastoral poems and songs, which relate the early stages of the love affair between Inanna (the goddess of fertility) and Dumuzi (either a human shepherd or the god of shepherds). This romantic connection is described in great detail in The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi, a poem that is notable for both its tenderness and its graphic depictions of sexuality:Inanna sang:”Make your milk sweet and thick, my bridegroom.My shepherd, I will drink your fresh milk.Wild bull Dumuzi, make your milk sweet and thick.I will drink your fresh milk.Let the milk of the goat flow in my sheepfold.Fill my holy churn with honey cheese.Lord Dumuzi, I will drink your fresh milk.My husband, I will guard my sheepfold for you.I will watch over your house of life, the storehouse,The shining quivering place which delights Sumer –The house which decides the fates of the land,The house which gives the breath of life to the people. I, the queen of the palace, will watch over your house.”[7]

In a marked contrast to these joyful celebrations of agricultural fecundity, the mythic corpora of the Sumerians and Babylonians also contain numerous lamentations and dirges bemoaning the death of the divine husbandman.[8] In the most prominent depiction of the god’s demise, he is undone by his failure to mourn for his departed consort—a hubristic act that earns him the considerable displeasure of Inanna.

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