8:14 Tammuz. At the time of Ezekiel, Tammuz was worshiped both as a fertility god and the lord of the underworld. Rites used in worship of Tammuz were tied to the annual cycles of death and rebirth of vegetation. When plants withered under the heat of the summer sun, Tammuz was thought to have died and descended to the underworld; mourning rites marked his passing. The reappearance of vegetation was viewed as the return of Tammuz; fertility rites sought to ensure the productivity of the land.