In the book of Ezekiel, it describes women weeping for the god, Tammuz, in the Temple. I've heard that supposedly the weeping lasted for only a couple of days, while others say it lasted for the month named after him. Also, I've heard that it was supposedly 40 days after 40 years he supposedly lived but I have yet to find any primary or academic sources regarding that. Other sources state that the weeping only lasted 3 days but other sources I’ve found state that it was on the 2nd day of the month that the weeping occurred. Here are some sources I've found regarding the weeping of tammuz but does anyone have some other sources regarding this practice?

Tammuz, the lover of your earliest youth, for him you have ordained lamentations year upon year You loved the colorful 'Little Shepherd' bird and then hit him, breaking his wing, so now he stands in the forest crying 'My Wing’! - Epic of Gilgamesh Tablet VI

14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord; women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. - Ezekiel 8:14 (New Revised Standard Version)

“In Mesopotamia, in the last three days of the month of Tammuz (June/July), there was a funerary ritual called “exhibition, or exposition,” during which an image of the dead god Tammuz was exhibited……… The Gilgamesh Epic mentions the annual rite that Ishtar ordained where the technical term for “lamentation” occurs: “For Tammuz, the lover of your youth, thou hast ordained wailing year after year.”- Voth, Steven M.., Walton, John H.., Ferris, Paul W. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Ezekiel. United States: Zondervan, 2009. Pg. 142

The end of Du’uzu in the summer (month IV) especially came to be set aside for mourning the dead Dumuzi, who would rise again only with the winter rains. These rites began on the 26th, with the last moonlight, and continued through the 29th.”- Fleming, Daniel E. Time at Emar: The Cultic Calendar and the Rituals from the Diviner's Archive. Germany: Penn State University Press, 2000. Pg. 180

“The 26th of Duʾuzu was the day of uproar; it was a day when a (funerary) display was made in Aššur and Nineveh. The 27th of Duʾuzu was the day of releasing; it was also a day on which a (funerary) display was made in Aššur Nineveh, Kalḫu and Arbela. The 28th of Duʾuzu was the day of Dumuzi when a further (funerary) display was made in all four cities. In Arbela, yet another (funerary) display was reserved for the 29th, which seems to have been the last day of the rite.”- Scurlock, J. A. "K 164 ('BA' 2, P. 635): New Light on the Mourning Rites for Dumuzi?" Journal of Assyriology and Oriental Archaeology 86, no. 1 (1992): 53–67. Pg. 57-58

  • 2
    The Bible does not say. So, this is not a Biblical topic.
    – Dottard
    Feb 14 at 23:00
  • This is really a question about religious history, not about biblical text, so Hermeneutics.SE is not a good site to expect answers to this question. ¶ The book, The Two Babylons, contains many references to forty days of weeping in ancient traditions around the world, often followed by a celebration of new life or resurrection. (The book itself is often criticised, but it provides many citations that can be followed for further research.) Mar 17 at 13:35
  • Alright then. Thanks, and do you have anything more recent? Because that book was written in 1853. Jun 8 at 1:35

1 Answer 1


It would appear that the crying lasted some time after the initial event of Ezekiel 8:14 as noted below:

“And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭8‬:‭17‬-‭18

‬ ‭The next chapter has a similar theme:

“Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭9‬:‭1‬-‭4‬ ‭

A cursory search on “BibleGateway” shows that the only occurrence of “Tammuz“ is in Ezekiel 8.

It would appear that God destroyed the idol of Tammuz and its remembrance given the context:

“Furthermore He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel commits here, to make Me go far away from My sanctuary? Now turn again, you will see greater abominations.”” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭8‬:‭6‬ ‭

It would also appear that the Israelites were worshipping a Sumerian deity and were thus punished for it.


Again, as far as a length of days, it seems improbable to determine that clearly.

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