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Thread: Lilith

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    :) Stephweet :) stephofthenight's Avatar
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    Lilith

    The concept of Adam having a first wife, and Eve not being the first woman is of interest.
    I have found the church, and those in the church to steadfast refuse any notion that Lilith might have existed. But then those same church people will also not acknowledge that before the flood everyone was a vegetarian sooo.....

    There are two distinct women created in the Bible:
    Eve- Genesis 2:21-25 "made from the rib of man"
    "Lilith"- Genesis 1:26-29 Genesis 2:4-8 and Genesis 5:1-2. The three accounts imply that Adam and the woman were created at the same time. Both from dust, unlike the account of eves creation. In some translations the woman is missing from the second account, in literal Hebrew translations a woman named Adamah was created with adam, and watered with mist.

    In Genesis 1:26-29 God gives permission to both man and woman to eat freely of every tree; however Eve was never given permission to eat of every tree. After Adam was moved to the Garden, BEFORE Eve was created in Genesis 2:18-25, God warns Adam that he may no longer eat freely. In Genesis 2:15-17 God tells Adam he must guard the tree of knowledge, and not eat from it. The restriction is in place before the creation of Eve- this leads me to think that there has to be a different female creation before Eve. In Genesis 5:2 a single name is given for both the male and female "Adam" supporting the dual creation from dust theory. You could conclude that Adamah would be the feminine form of Adam, meaning "ground" and "root" Consistent with the legend that Lilith was created from muck and mud. The literal Hebrew of Genesis 2:18 would explain why Adam was lonely, as he originally had a mate and became alone, explaining Adam's unsuccessful search for a mate. You could also take this to show that Eve was a replacement for the first woman. After Eve was created Adam awakened to exclaim "this time is this" or "hapa'am" in Hebrew. Representing a repeated event in comparison to the original. Almost as if to exclaim this time we got it right! In reference to the "bone of my bone" in comparison to the original creation with dust/mud.

    The serpent in the Garden was not a snake, but rather a "nachash" the root word nechash means "divine". Originally the root meant to whisper, it came to change meaning to describe individuals who obtain power from whispering voices of demonic spirits. Those inhabited were predominately women, If the serpent is indeed human, Lilith provides a very plausible origin. The most famous Nachash serpent of the Bible is Leviathan, commonly believed to be Lucifer in the form of the garden serpent. In Job 26:23 and Isaiah 27:1 Leviathan has described as a winged serpent fleeing from God to the seas. The legend of Lilith
    matches this description, with her also fleeing on wings from the garden, to the ocean. 1 Enoch confirms that the Leviathan dwells in the seas, and is Female, again matching Lilith. In the Garden God curses the Serpent, promising the Messiah would crush its head, In Psalm 74:14 we see God crushing the head of the Leviathan- are they one and the same?

    Job 26:13 implies that the serpent Leviathan was created along with Adam "By his spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent." This places the serpent being created, at the same time as Adam in the same fashion. Making a fairly decent case for the serpent being Lilith and supporting her existence. The serpents ability to speak and manipulate characterize it as having human traits, the lack of surprise on behalf of Adam and Eve that the serpent spoke leads me to believe this was the creatures natural state of being. If you look at the curse God laid out against Eve and the Serpent it would seem both are female. These are the same curses we see for the adulterous wife, and Eves curse of childbirth matches that of the innocent woman of the trial. The serpent as Sotah, and Eve as the innocent woman could further identify the serpent as the adulterous female who went astray from Adam.

    In Isaiah 34 we see a demon named Lilith, described as a deadly creature with wings. She is said to be a slayer of young children. A snake fused with Lilith make the two "one being" She dwells in tthe midst of the sea sharing her home with angels cast from heaven. Upon the day of judgement the waters of her home will whither and become like molten tar,and the dust brimstone. The entire account in Isaiah matches that of Lilith's legend and association.


    So what are your thoughts? Could such a creature exist? Why is this not acknowledged in the church? Or have I missed some simple explanation? My apologize for any typos, poor spelling or grammar as its quite late and It's very possible i'm simply rambling.

    "Be careful of quotes you find on the internet, they may not always be true" -Abraham Lincon-

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    You have a very literalistic approach to scripture.

    I understood there are two creation myths in Genesis - Genesis 1 where man and woman are created at the same time and Genesis 2 where the woman is created from the side of the man.

    Both accounts are mythic descriptions of the human condition and refer to same human circumstances.

    I will look up your citations though for interest.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I’ve looked up Isaiah 34.14 where there is the reference to Lilith in several translations.

    The King James translates Lilith as “screech owl” and one other as “monster of the night”. There is nothing to connect her with Adam or dwelling in the sea. She is just one of the horrid things that take over the destroyed city.

    Of course the serpent was created at the same time as Adam and Eve. So were all the other animals in Genesis 1 (or at least in the same week).

    The myth of Lilith being Adam’s first wife sounds pretty sexist to me.
    Last edited by Jackson Richardson; 03-31-2016 at 02:49 PM.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Steph
    I have read something about the so called "Myth of Lilith" as it is sometimes referred to in Feminine Literature. I forgot the titles now, but the point about Lilith, if I rightly remember, is that she is created as an equal of Adam, as your citations above seem to support. Also she seems to be represented as the dark side of womanhood, with an independent and unsettling character.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-31-2016 at 04:18 PM.
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Thank you for drawing my attention to this. I’ve been researching it a bit. According to Wikipedia – which is not a very good authority at times – the belief that Lileth was Adam’s first wife was a Jewish folk belief dating from the 700s at the earliest. As far as I can make out the name Lilth only appears in the Bible in Isaiah 34. The idea of her as Adam’s wife is not scriptural and was not current before the development of Christianity. In scripture she is demonic night creature, as far as we can tell from the brief reference.

    That is why that belief does not figure in mainline Christian tradition.

    In Genesis 1, the woman is equally created in the image of God as is the man.
    Last edited by Jackson Richardson; 04-01-2016 at 03:14 AM.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Stephofthenight obviously put a lot of thought and research into their post. Maybe she (he?) was telling us something about their personal mythology and symbolism that is personally very important.

    In which case my replies have been a bit crushing. Or more than a bit. Mind you, it is difficult to be welcoming at the same time as telling someone they are barking up the wrong tree. But I wish I had been more personally gracious.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User mona amon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephofthenight View Post
    The concept of Adam having a first wife, and Eve not being the first woman is of interest.
    I have found the church, and those in the church to steadfast refuse any notion that Lilith might have existed. But then those same church people will also not acknowledge that before the flood everyone was a vegetarian sooo.....
    Most of what I'm going to say is what Jon has already said, but there really is nothing about Lilith in the Bible, save for one passage in Isaiah which has a passing reference to 'the lilith', though no English translation has it. This is the mythical Lilith which would have been familiar to the people of that time, a sort of winged female demon/succubus, so there is no reason for the church to question the existence of Lilith as some sort of monster like Leviathan, but there is no evidence at all to identify it either with Leviathan or with the serpent of the fall.

    The story of Lilith as Adam's first wife comes from an anonymous, satirical, 11th century Jewish text known as the The Alphabet of Ben Sira, so it is nothing more than a piece of fiction, not even a myth or legend, and appears at least 1500 years after the biblical account of creation. This is the full story from The Alphabet -

    Soon afterward the young son of the king took ill. Said Nebuchadnezzar, "Heal my son. If you don't, I will kill you." Ben Sira immediately sat down and wrote an amulet with the Holy Name, and he inscribed on it the angels in charge of medicine by their names, forms, and images, and by their wings, hands, and feet. Nebuchadnezzar looked at the amulet. "Who are these?"
    "The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsnvi, and Smnglof [סנוי סנסנוי וסמנגלוף] (in English: Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof). While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Genesis 2:18). He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back.
    "Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.' The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, 'We shall drown you in the sea.'
    "'Leave me!' she said. 'I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.'
    "When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: 'Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.' She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, and the child recovers." - (from Wikipedia)
    It is easy to see why the Lilith of this story captured the popular imagination, especially the female!

    I suggest you have a look at this interesting website for more on the Lilith myth.http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/d...-bible/lilith/
    Exit, pursued by a bear.

  8. #8
    :) Stephweet :) stephofthenight's Avatar
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    No worry about being crushing JonathanB (she) can handle it I forget that my frequent long absences leave me a stranger to many here. I enjoy things that challenge my faith- The resurrection is one thing most Christians agrees would change their faith, and many would abandon it. I transitioned to Christianity from Paganism so Lilith is fairly familiar to me. But the existence of Lilith as the first wife, would cause problems in my faith and undermine the perfection of creation (in my opinion) so it is something I am interested in exploring.

    "Be careful of quotes you find on the internet, they may not always be true" -Abraham Lincon-

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Thanks, steph, that’s jolly decent of you.

    I can imagine the story of Lilith would go down well with a certain sort of feminist who rejoices at any representation at all of a strong woman, ignoring the fact strong women can be just as toxic as strong men.

    Steph and Mona are in a far better position to judge what is sexist than a bloke like me, but the story Mona cites sounds just the sort of thing a man would come up with to show all women are evil unless they are a total doormat. (Although Lilith there is a nasty bit of work – she has no interest in a mutual, collaborative or complementary relationship – she want power.)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I'd like to introduce a different perspective into the discussion, especially as the question was asked for a religious more than a literary reason. Without excluding the possibility of they being the product of religious revelations, one has to take into account I think that the Jewish/ Christian early myths about the origin of men, were mostly, if not all of them, male narratives. How difficult female access to sacred texts in much more recent times was, shows this story with its contradictions between the original story and the film.
    Among other themes, Genesis poises tue question of gender relathionships from a male point of view.I have put myself some questions, how it would be if the narrative of Genesis had been the product of one or several female or even mixed gender narratives. I want to share them with you:
    Would Adam be created before Eve?
    Would Eve be represented as being created from the rib of Adam?
    Would the downfall from Paradise be described the way it is? (Though she is created after a more submissive pattern, we have to agree thatEve's reputation in Genesis isnīt s0 much better than Liliths).
    That said, I donīt consider myself a feminist only inasmuch I am for equal rights for both genders. A world without males and male points of views would be utterly boring
    "You can always find something better than death."
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    When I did my diploma in Religious Studies I deliberately went for the Modern Theology module to a secular tutor, who was a Quaker feminist. She spent some time examining Genesis 1 and 2. She told us what she had heard from the Chief Rabbi of Ireland, who as she pointed out would be totally Orthodox.

    He said that the spare rib wasn’t a single rib, but more what we would mean by a side of meat – ie half the rib cage.

    That’s Genesis 2. A modern translation of Genesis 1 translates “So God created humankind in his image, male and female he created him.” (ie Humanity is created first, sexual difference is secondary.) So in both those versions, the woman is an equal of the man. At Genesis 3.16 the woman is told “your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you” but that is a consequence of the fall and not what God intends for humanity.

    I don’t want to underestimate the sexist potential of the OT but it is not all bad news for women.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thatīs an interesting theory, Jonathan because it shows that the interpretation of Genesis is becoming more flexible.
    About the rib question, I donīt think there is a concret difference if the woman was created of the rib, the half rib cage or the little finger of man. The problem for me is the underlaying idea that woman derived of man.
    “your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you”- I have a very strong suspicion that this rule came from the religious leader of the time when this was written down. The matter of descendance was and probably still isof primary importance for the Jews. In times before the ADN test only a strict female faithfullness to her husband could guarantee that her children were really fathered by him.
    Please, what does OT mean?
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 04-02-2016 at 01:58 PM.
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Sorry, OT = Old Testament (or to be right on, the Hebrew Scriptures).
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks!Itīs pretty obvious but I do have a problem with all those acronyms, especially in a foreign language!
    "You can always find something better than death."
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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    At a Bible study group I was at, a woman priest (we have them in the Church of England) suggested that Proverbs 8 gives yet another creation story, one in which a female figure, Wisdom, plays a significant part:
    http://tinyurl.com/j3m42ay

    I think she was implying that Genesis 1 was abstract and male centred. I disagree with her if so and I may post later.

    But for the meantime Proverbs 8 is worth a look.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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