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In Ezekiel 8:14 the prophet is taken up in a vision, and shown women who "Weep for Tummuz." The passage does not explain what that means, although these women are engaged in some form of idolatry. My Bible footnotes tells me it is a "fertility god." I understand this passage is in context with Israel's idolatry, but what are they specifically engaged in when they are "Weeping for Tummuz"?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a good question. The information available is very complex, so I have gleaned the most relevent information to answer the question. To begin, @lasersauce made the correct observation that

He [Tammuz] appears to have been a god of the spring, and the myth regarding him told of his early death and of the descent of Istar, his bride, into the underworld in search of him.

In this regard, Becking and Dijkistra (1996) provide important historical details. That is, there are similarities with the death of the Canaanite God Baal and Tammuz written in the In the Ras Shamra texts. In one of the studies the writer observes that

The mourning for Baal as a vegetation deity in eclipse suggests the weeping for Tammuz, also a vegetation deity, by the woman of Jerusalem in the sixth month (Ezek 8:14) and, more directly, the public mourning for Hadad-Rimmon (the Canaanite Baal) in the valley of Megiddo (Zech 12:11). (1).

Additional sources are here, as well as this post.

In summary, the sources indicate several parallels between Tammuz and the Canaanite god Baal.

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Thank you for your energetic search! I can see that there are numerous complications in examining this passage-but the common theme appears to be a fertility/spring ritual cult, a vestige of the Caananite festivals. – Tau Jul 3 '14 at 3:11

According to J. R. Dummelow, Tammuz was

a deity worshipped both in Babylonia and in Phoenicia—the same as the Greek Adonis. He appears to have been a god of the spring, and the myth regarding him told of his early death and of the descent of Istar his bride into the underworld in search of him. The death of Tammuz symbolised the destruction of the spring vegetation by the heat of summer, and it was celebrated annually by seven days of women’s mourning in the 4th month (June–July), which was called Tammuz. This superstition had been introduced into Jerusalem. (A Commentary on the Holy Bible, pp. 497–98.)

Here is a an additional source, covering most of the same information, but more recently printed, although not as plainly laid out.

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Dummelow’s book was published in 1909, when the study of ancient Babylonia was still in its infancy. In the mean while an enormous number of texts from Babylonia have been excavated and lots of good studies of Babylonian religion in general and Tammuz in particular are available, in real books, and even on the internet. What is actually the point of pasting something from an out-of-date book from 1909? – fdb Jul 2 '14 at 21:20
I wouldn't say it's fair to exclude sources based on their antiquity (esp. in dealing with ancient scripture) but I didn't find any contradictory information, so went with the source I felt covered it well and in brevity. – lasersauce Jul 2 '14 at 23:58

Tammuz was an actual person. He was not a god/deity though he was worshiped like one after his death. He was the son of Nimrod. And this is how it goes: Nimrod was descended directly from Noah- Noah had a son named Ham. Ham had a son named Cush. Cush married a woman named Semiramis and they had a son named Nimrod. When Cush died, Nimrod married his mother Semiramis. When Nimrod died Semiramis was pregnant. When she had the baby, she named him Tammuz. Semiramis believed Tammuz was Nimrod reincarnated. **Nimrod was a powerful king. He was the one building the tower of Babel.

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Welcome to Stack Exchange. We are glad you stopped by and hope you stick around. When you have a chance, check out the site tour. In particular, be sure to read the section on what constitutes a good answer and revise your post to either cite references that back your position or to more thoroughly explain how you get this interpretation from the text itself. Please note that "showing your work" is required on this Stack Exchange. – ThaddeusB Dec 27 '15 at 21:33
@Lizzie Wow! This flies in the face of most commentaries. Can state your sources, and perhaps quote them in your response? Thank you! – Tau Dec 29 '15 at 1:46
Hi Tau, I'm just seeing your comment. Sorry for such a late reply. SURE! I will definitely site my sources. I didn't know that was required on this site and got a friendly note from the moderator as well asking me to site sources. I only have 1 source for this and that is the Bible. But I will get all of the verses and timelines together and repost <3 – Lizzie Jan 2 at 22:24

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