Q. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions of so many of us “eager beavers.” You continue to be a blessing to many. Here is my question: Why does the Hebrew calendar have a month named Tammuz? Is is more than a coincidence that that is the name of an idol/false god mentioned in the Bible? “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.” Ezekiel 8:14. Are there other months in the Hebrew calendar that have such pagan sounding names? If so, why?
A. The current names of months on the Hebrew calendar were chosen during the time of Ezra after the Babylonian captivity. The Jews had just returned from 70 years in Babylon and chose names that were familiar to them. Thus all of the official names of the Hebrew months have their origins in Babylon.
The same is true of our calendar, although in our case the names are mostly Roman in their origin. The first 6 months are named after Roman gods, July (Julius Caesar) and August (Augustus Caesar) are named after Roman Emperors, and September (7) October (8) November (9) and December (10) are named for their positions on the Roman Calendar, since March (Mars, the god of war) was their first month.