13. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
13. Et dixit ad me, adhuc con-vertere, et videbis abominationes magnas quas ipsi faciunt.
14. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
14. Et deduxit1 me ad ostium portae domus Iehovae quod respicit ad aquilonem: et ecce illic mulieres sedebant lugentes Thammuz.
He now mentions the third kind of idolatry by which the Jews polluted the temple; for this was a kind of sin peculiar to females; and we know that they were always more addicted to such wickedness. Satan, indeed, fascinates men always more than enough, but in women recklessness reigned more than superstition. They had therefore a female worship in bewailing Thammuz. Who Thammuz was is uncertain. Jerome translates it Adonis, and Adonis was beloved by Venus, as the poets trifle; and when torn to pieces by a boar, he was turned into a flower of sweetest odor; and in honor of Venus women yearly solemnized by lamentations the death of that beautiful youth; but it is not probable that this rite prevailed in Judaea, because we do not read that this lamentation was practiced in the neighboring regions, but in Greece and Asia Minor I refer it rather to Osiris, for, as we said before, the Jews were neighbors to the Egyptians -- hence they adopted various rites from them; but we know that Osiris was yearly wept for by the Egyptians, and that great pollution occurred; for they carried the virile member on a pole in procession, and called it Phallus;2 and women also showed their parts to the idol, as if offering themselves to debauchery. This was a most disgraceful spectacle. But I conjecture that the Jews had adopted this rite when the women bewailed Thammuz. Here also we perceive, that when once Satan has prevailed, and cast men into deep depravity, they despise all moderation, nay, are reduced to more than brutal stupor. Who would think this could occur, that women should be reduced to such a pitch of defilement, when they had been taught in the doctrine of the law from their early childhood. But when God's temple was open to such pollutions, we see the Jews so blinded by madness, that God already was showing signs of his extreme vengeance, since he had endured them up to this point.
Grant, Almighty God, since thou hast delivered to us a sure rule of worship, which cannot deceive us, and since thy Son became for us a perfect master of all wisdom and of solid piety, that we may obediently follow whatever he prescribes for us, and turn neither to the right hand nor the left; but being content with that simplicity which we have learnt from his Gospel, may go on in the course of our holy calling, until at length, that pursuit being finished, we may arrive at the perfect state of thy glory, and may so enjoy it that we may be transformed into it, as thou hast promised us by the same Jesus Christ our Lord. -- Amen.
1 Or, "introduced." -- Calvin
2 Herod. 2:c. 48. -- Ed.
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