The feisty Lilith, the first wife of Adam, became a demon, then a feminist icon over time.
Demons in ancient mythology have their fair share of legends, especially when it comes to female personalities. One name, however, has topped all of the demonic characters in the history of demonology. Additionally, according to legend, she is the first and disobedient spouse of Adam.
Nonetheless, there is more to her story and a lot to consider if she was the queen of all demons or just a mere troubled woman. To truly understand her identity and origin, the world must look more closely at everything from her name to her characteristics.
Let us uncover the truth behind Lilithís demon moniker.
She Was Born from Dust
Writers, poets, and artists had much inspiration from Lilith for their mythical imaginations. The character is a popular member of folklore and, as such, was a source of debate and disagreement. But, what can we comprehend by her name alone?
The name Lilith carries a lot of meaning depending on the context. For the most part, it has been translated as the night monster, night creature, or sometimes as the screeching owl. In short, it all boils down to the same phenomenon- Lilith is an evil creature.
Despite only being mentioned in the Bible once, in the Book of Genesis, Lilith holds a prominent place in Jewish folklore. Born in the Garden of Eden, out of the dust for Adam specifically, she did not become the wife she was expected to be. Seeing dominance rule over her, Lilith is said to have to taken a stand for herself.
She left the Garden of Eden and began her journey of stealing babies in the darkness of the night in revenge. The portrayal of her character depicts her as sexual, creepy, and someone who will do anything necessary to please herself. The idea of her aggression towards babies has roots in ancient Mesopotamian mythology, where a similar figure was known as Lamashtu.
The Demon that Preys on Children
Lamashtu is known as the evilest in Mesopotamian myth, known to have caused harm to pregnant women and their children, born or unborn. This deadly predator not only devoured women and children but would also drink the blood and eat the flesh of men. Due to this myth, Lilith became perceived as erotic, a creature capable of infecting all of the menís dreams.
The rebellious Lilith is known as Adamís first wife in Genesis, but other accounts contradict this concept. There are four references to her in the Talmud, the Jewish law. In this story, there is a lot less ambiguity than what we read in Genesis.
The Babylonian Jewish Lilith is a winged demon with a face of a woman. It is forbidden for men to sleep alone at home because they believe the said demon would appear and seize the semen of the men. Legend has it that she was acquainted with several demonic entities, producing evil children as a result.
In either case, she could either have been Adamís first wife or a demon who preyed upon children as a hobby. Nevertheless, the question remains: who created these myths, and how did the story of Lilith vary from one ancient writing to another?
It was Not a Traditional Marriage
Historically, the Middle Ages should be credited. From the early 5th till the 15th centuries, many scholars have attributed agreement to the Alphabet of Ben Sira. These ancient Hebrew stories describe how Adam and Lilith clashed when they were created for one another by God.
Both did not wish to be subordinate to one another. Some texts proclaim the clash was the result of a disagreement over sexual position, which triggered Lilithís anger. While fleeing the Garden of Eden, she whispered the secret name of God. In the next moment, her face changed to be that of a winged demon.
When the angels attempted to persuade her to go back to the place she was supposed to be, Lilith still held her ground. The angels were furious, and they threatened to kill hundreds of her demon children every day if she did not stop. That is, perhaps, how Lilith became known as the evil spirit who is after the lives of unborn innocents.
Nonetheless, the Akkadian, Sumerian, and Babylonians refer to these extraordinarily similar creatures as Lilu, Lilitu, and Lili, respectively. All three cultures contributed to the myth of Lilith. If it was not for these ancient writings, we would always be unsure of even the slightest information regarding Lilithís appearance and personality.
Additionally, there are some descriptions that mention that once when Lilith returned to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve already had been married. In the world of mythology, Lilith, dressed as a snake, is credited with tempting Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. However, it could entirely just be an interpretation due to Middle Ages folklore.
A Role Model for Feminists
This demonic expression of Lilith, however, is appreciated by modern world feminists. Despite her controversial attributes, some feminists look up to her as a symbol of empowerment. She is worth high regard among the Jewish but is not fully limited to them alone. Lilith has even been referred to as the first feminist.
A vast range of manuscripts has portrayed Lilith as an influential woman who was independent in her ways. Some of these people highly respect her as the woman who fought her battles. In their minds, she is seen as someone who was shackled into marriage, but she did not obey her husband blindly as a trophy wife.
Despite many writings, people may or may not believe her as an evil creature. What do you think? Was she truly a woman turned into a demon? Or could her story be just twisted for everyone to believe that she had only evil intentions? Myths and legends will always make us question everything until we get the answer we want.