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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

 

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Tammuz
        

From tamzuwz, "melted down," referring to the river Adonis fed by the melted snows of Lebanon, also to the sun's decreasing heat in winter, and to Venus' melting lamentations for Adonis. Tammuz was the Syrian Adonis (Jerome), Venus' paramour, killed by a wild boar, and according to mythology permitted to spend half the year on earth and obliged to spend the other half in the lower world. An annual feast was kept to him in June (Tammuz in the Jewish calendar) at Byblos, when the Syrian women tore off their hair in wild grief, and yielded their persons to prostitution, consecrating the hire of their infamy to Venus; next followed days of rejoicing for his return to the earth. The idea fabled was spring's beauties and the river's waters destroyed by summer heat (the river Adonis or nahr Ibrahim in spring becomes discolored with the heavy rains swelling the streams from Lebanon, which discoloration superstition attributed to Tammuz' blood); or else the earth clothed with beauty in the half year while the sun is in the upper hemisphere, and losing it when he descends to the lower (Ezekiel 8:14).
        Instead of" weeping for Tammuz," the idol of beauty and licentiousness, the women ought to have wept for the national sins. Christian women, instead of weeping over fictitious tales of morbid love and carnal sorrows, ought to consecrate their fine sensibilities to the active promotion of the glory of Him who is altogether lovely, and whose bitter and unmerited sufferings should call forth our tears of grateful and glowing love. Imitate Mary who, when all others were gone, stood at the crucified Lord's sepulchre weeping, and so had her tears dried up by the risen Saviour Himself (John 20:11-16). Isis' relation to Osiris in Egypt was the same as that of Venus to Adonis. Adoni means my lord, like Baali. Constantine suppressed the worship for its profligacy.


Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew Robert M.A., D.D., "Definition for 'Tammuz' Fausset's Bible Dictionary".
bible-history.com - Fausset's; 1878.

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