This, the principal deity of the Phcrnicians, and who was often called also by that people Adoni, that is. fly Lord, became afterwards famous in the Grecian mythology under the well-known name of Adonis; and the circumstances of his being selected for the subject of their most beautiful fiction by so many of the classic poets is a sufficient proof of the great popular interest his name and ritual excited among the idolaters of the ancient world. It is said to have originated in a tragic adventure that befell an intrepid and beau tiful prince of Phcrnicia, who was killed while hunting a wild boar, by which that land was in fested, and whose untimely death in the cause of his country was bewailed in an annual festival held to commemorate the disastrous event. Dur ing the seven days that the festival lasted the Plicenicians appeared to be a nation of mourners; and in every town and village a fictitious repre sentation of Tanininz was improvised for the occa sion. and the whole population assembled to pour forth their unbounded sorrow for his hapless fate. (See TAM muz.) These violent efforts in mourning were always followed by scenes of the most licentious and re volting revelry, which, though not mentioned, are manifestly implied among the 'greater abomina tions' which degraded this other group of idol aters.
(4) Sun Worship. Besides the hieroglyphics of Egypt and the orgies of Tammuz. there was another form of superstition still, which in Jeru salem, then almost wholly given to idolatry, had its distinguished patrons. 'Turn thee yet again,' said his celestial guide to the prophet, 'and thou shalt sec greater abominations than these' (verse 16). And he brought him unto the inner court of the Lord's house, and behold at the door of the Temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar were about five-and-twenty men with their backs towards the Temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east ; and they worshiped the sun towards the east.' Perhaps of all the varieties of superstition which had crept in among the Hebrews in that period of general decline, none displayed such flagrant dishonor to the God of Israel as this; for, as the most holy place was situated at the west end of the Sanctuary, it was impossible for these twenty-five men to pay their homage to the rising sun without turning their backs on the consecrated place of the divine pres ence. Could stronger proofs be wanted that the Lord had not forsaken Israel, but was driven from them? This was the lesson intended, and actually accomplished by the vision.