Updated: Jul 17
The fourth Hebrew month on the Agricultural calendar is named Tammuz (counting from Nisan). It is the 10th month on the civil calendar.
In scripture references it is simply referred to as the "fourth month" as in Jeremiah 52:6. The name of the month is Babylonian (like all the names given to the months) since the Creator only referred to the months as 1st, 2nd, 3rd.... It was only after the children of Israel were carried off into Babylonian captivity that they began to refer to the months by these pagan names. One will see this in the Bible.
Speaking of pagan names: we do find the name Tammuz in the Bible and it is not talking about the fourth month. We can read about this in the book of Ezekiel beginning in chapter eight. It is talking about the abominations that Yah revealed to Ezekiel that were taking place in the Temple. Please read the chapter to enhance your understanding. Here is what verse 14 declares:
He brought me to the entrance of the north gate to Adonai's house; and there before me were women weeping for Tammuz. (CJB)
If one reads this chapter they will find that all sorts of abominations were being practiced including the men worshiping the sun.
The prophet Jeremiah gives us another glimpse into this apostasy in chapter 7, verse 18:
The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods! (CJB)
This is not a pretty picture! All of these scriptures tie together and Tammuz was the name of an ancient pagan god. I detest even typing the name but must for teaching. He was called many things in various cultures but was attached to the sun-god. He was actually the offspring of the sun-god and his wife who was the "queen of heaven". She was also known by various names in various cultures. These are technically still being worshiped today by many who haven't a clue about why they do the things they do. For example: these gods are attached to the festival of Mardi Gras. The little baby in the king cake is not Jesus - it is really Tammuz. The 40 days of lent are actually the 40 days of weeping for Tammuz that we read about above. I will not go any deeper here but encourage one to study these things out.
Let us examine further things about this month.
The fourth month begins the season of summer. It corresponds to our Gregorian months of June/July.
This month is known as a month of mourning because various calamities happened to the Jewish people during this month. In fact, during this month, beginning on the 17th day of the month, there begins a 3 week period of mourning leading up to the climatic 9th day of Av when both temples are said to have been destroyed. This three week period of sorrow is called "yemei bein ha-metzarim" or "the days in the midst of distress". This phrase is taken from the book of Lamentations. Since it is considered a month of mourning, it is customary for religious Jews not to schedule weddings or other joyous events during these 3 weeks. It is also customary to fast on the 17th day of Tammuz from sunrise to sunset.
Lam. 1:3 Y'hudah has fled into exile from oppression and endless slavery. She lives among the nations, but there she finds no rest. Her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress.
Tradition states that Moses broke the first set of tablets on the 17th day of Tammuz.
The walls of Jerusalem were broken down by Nebuchadnezzar on the 9th day of Tammuz which led to the destruction of the first temple on the 9th of Av. (See 2 Kings 25:2-7)
The daily sacrifice is said to have stopped in the first temple on the 17th day of Tammuz due to the siege of Babylon upon the city.
In the first century, the Romans, under Titus, breached the walls of the city of Jerusalem before the ultimate destruction of the second temple on the 9th of Av.
These are only some of the calamities that are historically and traditionally associated with the fourth month.
The prophet Zechariah alludes to the fourth month as being a month of mourning for the people, however he states that this perpetual mourning will be turned into joy and gladness:
Zech. 8:19 Adonai-Tzva'ot says, 'The fast days of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months are to become times of joy, gladness and cheer for the house of Y'hudah. Therefore, love truth and peace. (CJB)
The prophet declares that under the coming Messiah that all mourning will be turned to joy.
We are commanded to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem". Dear friend, Jerusalem, nor Israel as a nation, will have peace until the Messiah comes. He will take away all sorrow and mourning and replace it with joy, gladness and cheer. So, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem we are actually praying for the Messiah Yeshua to come.
Come Yeshua, Come!
Are you ready?