Lilith: Adam’s First Wife

(ORDO NEWS) — Everyone knows that the wife of the first man, Adam, was Eve and that God created her from the rib of Adam. But in the Book of Genesis it is sparingly mentioned that before Eve, Adam had another woman, created, like him, from clay. Nameless. Where did she go and what was her name, the Bible is silent. But popular rumor made her a demon and gave her a name – Lilith.

Where did the name Lilith come from? The most interesting thing is that it is not in the Bible. And there is a mention of a certain “lilith” in the Book of Isaiah, in the prophecy about the death of Idumea. In the synodal translation, this prophecy looks like this: “And her palaces will be overgrown with thorny plants, nettles and thistles – her stronghold; and it will be a dwelling place for jackals, a haven for ostriches. And the beasts of the desert will meet with wild cats, and the goblin will echo one with the other; there the night ghost will rest and find peace.”

History with linguistics

“Night ghost” is the biblical lilith, in any case, this is the word translated, albeit with errors against the truth, because it would be more accurate to say “night creature”, which for the faithful Jews who wrote the Bible sounded more like “night demon “,” The spirit of the night “is definitely evil, since there are no good night spirits. Who else runs around at night? Robbers and murderers. And lamias. This is exactly how this word was translated in the Latin Bible.

As for the creation of Adam and Eve, either the Book of Genesis is extremely inconsistent, or there were several creations. The first time that God created man is said in this verse: “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said to them: be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over every animal that creeps on the earth. ” However, the chapter later talks about the creation of only one Adam, whom God made of clay and placed in the Garden of Eden he created as a gardener, that is, this poor fellow had no one to “fill the earth” with. Then God created a wife for him. The process is described as follows: “And the Lord God brought a deep sleep to man; and when he fell asleep, he took one of his ribs, and covered that place with flesh. And the Lord God created a woman from a rib taken from a man and brought her to a man. And the man said, Behold, this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she will be called wife, for she was taken from her husband. ” The name of the creature is Eve.

Obviously, these biblical inconsistencies worried the interpreters of the text so much that Lilith was “born” from them.

Apocryphal biography

In all her glory, Lilith, not yet the first wife of Adam, appears in the Jewish Talmud. She has a beautiful face, long hair and wings. The Talmud knows Lilith as a demoness who gives birth to night demons. In the folk tradition, Lilith was considered the destroyer of newborns. Under the cover of the darkness of the night, she sneaked into the house and either abducted babies, or sucked their blood out of them, or killed or cast an evil spell. Therefore, to protect against Lilith, there were a number of conspiracies, and the father had to sit at the cradle and read sacred texts all night before circumcising the baby. There were also special amulets, on them were written the names of three angels sent by God to watch over Lilith – Sena, Sansena, Semangelof. The names of the angels came from the popular legend about the contract concluded by God with a demoness.

This legend is most fully recounted in the medieval text known as the “Ben Sira Alphabet”. After God created Adam in His own image and likeness, He said that it is not good for man to be alone, and He created in exactly the same way the woman whom he named Lilith. But Adam wanted to rule over the woman, so that she obey him, and the woman did not like it. She said, “We are equal to each other because we were both created from the earth.” Adam did not give in, then Lilith uttered the secret name of God, which she knew, and the wind picked up and carried her away. Adam prayed to God with tears in his eyes: “The woman you created for me ran away!” God sent after three angels, whose names you already know. They found a fugitive in the middle of the Red Sea, where she was having fun. And they demanded to return. To which they were refused. Lilith said that she was created not to please Adam, but in order to send sickness to newborns: she has power over boys for eight days, before circumcision, over girls for 12 days. The angels had no choice but to leave Lilith alone. But before leaving her, they made an agreement: if there is an amulet with the names of these angels on the child’s neck, then Lilith will not touch him.

After that, the immortal Lilith received a kind of divorce, lived for her own pleasure and produced demons. Well, God had to create another girlfriend for Adam. He created the second spouse before Adam’s eyes from blood, flesh, sinew and sinew. Adam did not like the process so much that he refused to call the created being a wife. Where this second woman went, legends don’t tell. But the third attempt was successful. But for this, God had to put Adam to sleep so that he would not see what manipulations with his rib the Creator was doing.

There is one more nuance in this spicy biblical story. According to popular legends, the life of Adam and Eve was not the best. Eve turned out to be fat, stupid, frivolous, talkative, jealous, deceitful, envious and loved to eavesdrop and spread gossip. After they were expelled from Eden, he did not want to even touch his wife and for 130 years copulated with everything that moves, but not with Eve. Of course, what was born of the seed of Adam was not “in his image and likeness.” Adam gave birth to demons and demons. Like Lilith. And to finally give birth to a normal son, I had to return to Eve.

Lamia and others

But where did such a being as Lilith come from in Jewish folklore? Direct analogs should be sought from neighbors. “Lil” is translated from Sumerian as “spirit”, “lilu” from Akkadian – as “night”, in Hebrew “lilith” also has the meaning of a night bird, an owl. But for the first time, the demonic creature Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke appears in the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh. The goddess Inanna planted a huluppu tree in her garden to make a bed and a throne out of its wood. But after 10 years, she saw that a snake had settled in the roots of the tree, a bird had made a nest in the branches of the tree, and this very Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke lives in the trunk. Then the goddess called Gilgamesh for help. He struck a tree, and the snake crawled away, the bird with the chicks flew away, and Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke rushed away and settled in the wild.

From Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke, apparently, the Babylonian and Assyrian demons of the night originated: lilu – male, lilitu and ardat lili – female. Moreover, in some texts ardat lili acts as a little daughter of lilith. Later, the Babylonian Lilitu became a good goddess Lamashtu or Lamassu, but the goddess did not lose some of her evil qualities – she was responsible for the death of newborns, miscarriages, difficult childbirth and the termination of lactation. Lamassu was depicted with a female head, a lion’s body and eagle wings. To escape from Lamashtu, they resorted to the help of the lord of the winds – Pazuzu. Pazuzu was also not without sin. He brought with him drought, famine, or floods.

In the Jewish tradition, all these Middle Eastern demons merged into the figure of Lilith. Moreover, on the Aramaic and Hebrew spell bowls, one can see not a female lilita, but a male lila. The name of this creature was Bagdana. The entire inner surface of the bowl was filled with magical texts, and at the very bottom they drew a demon, whom these texts were supposed to neutralize. This is why he or she has been depicted with tied hands and feet. Usually the spell began with the following words: “You lilits, male and female lilu, demons and witches, I conjure you …”. Magic protected from all the lila and lilita, including the lilim (as in Jewish folklore, numerous offspring of Lilith were called).

Lilith and her female offspring were considered beauties who seduced men, invaded dreams in the middle of the night and replaced real women. So the wives, despite the prohibitions of the rabbis, turned to Kabbalists and magicians to make a protective cup. Or they wore an amulet on their chest against Lilith and Lilims.

In ancient Europe, there was, by the way, its own Lilith. Her name was Lamia. And she was the daughter of Poseidon and the beloved of Zeus, but the wife of the latter, Hera, was jealous of her husband for the beauty and turned her into a monster. And Zeus killed the bastards. Lamia could not survive this and began to kill other people’s children. To the translator of the Vulgate, Lilith, wandering in the desert at night, immediately recalled the myth of Lamia. This is why the “lamia” appeared in the prophecy of Isaiah.


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