Who was Lilith?

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Medicine*Woman, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    I'm almost afraid to start another thread because the Xians take such offense to my posts. Oh, well... be that as it may, if the Xians out there want to share their knowledgeable and insightful comments on this topic, please feel free to do so. Let it never be said that I am biased against Xians. Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it! Right?

    I would like to learn more about Lilith. I've read a little bit, but I would appreciate a learned discussion on this topic. Let me start, was Lilith a nephilim? I've read she was Adam's first wife. Please comment. When she left Adam, where did she go? Did they have children? Does Lilith show up anywhere in the Pentateuch or elsewhere in the OT?

    Perhaps I should leave these questions to the Alien Jesus Christ now that he's posting on the forum, but in all honesty, I want the truth. Thank you for your resourceful comments.
     
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  3. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

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    I cant remember much but I think she was in some judaic texts. Supposedly an angel who was to be the companion of Adam but was corrupted. God had to improvise and so he made eve.

    Ill try to find more. Apparently she was believed to have became a demon (at least in some circles).
     
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  5. curioucity Unbelievable and odd Registered Senior Member

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    I found some information on the Castlevania Dungeon site (odd, huh? I learned from a game!), here's what I remember:

    There were once two versions of the Old Testament, one was (and is) the one that now becomes the accepted Old Testament in Bible, and the other one was mixed with folklores; the later one contained the information about Lilith.
    True that in that 'folklore testament', Lilith was supposedly the first woman created by God, but she refused to be a sub-ordinate to men, and finally, she was out of the Heavens (not sure whether she's kicked out or left willingly), and became a demon, 'forcing' God to create Eve. After becoming a demon, Lilith was assumed to have ofsprings, first named Lilim, then later known as Succubus.

    I hope someone else's going to add more info....
     
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  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    I have found many differeing accounts of the story in many different places.

    What I have read most ofthen pretty much agrees with what curiouicity said...

    She was Adam
    s first wife, she refused to be subservient and was cast out of paradise and had sex with demons.
    Her offspring were half demon succubus (demons that have sex with men while they are sleeping).

    It is one of those topics that it is hard to know who to trust.

    I wish I could help more, but all I could do would be post links to web pages from questionable sources that you could easily find in a Yahoo search.
     
  8. Raithere plagued by infinities Valued Senior Member

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    3,348
    The wonderfully mysogenistic tale of Lilith as Adams first wife occurs in the Alphabet of Ben Sira written sometime between the 8th and 10th century A.D. But probably stems from earlier Judaic myths and going back as far as the Epic of Gilgamesh. However in the earlier myths lilith is more simply a form of demon similar to a succubus who generally conspires against Adam and his kin. Here's the tale from Alphabet:

    He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Gen. 2:18). He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith 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 am to be in 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 angles to bring her back.
    "Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come back, fine. 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."

    The earliest reference is in the prologue to Gilgamesh:

    "because during that time
    a dragon had built its nest at the foot of the tree
    the Zu-bird was raising its young in the crown,
    and the demon Lilith had built her house in the middle.
    But Gilgamesh, who had heard of Inanna's plight,
    came to her rescue.
    He took his heavy shield
    killed the dragon with his heavy bronze axe,
    which weighed seven talents and seven minas.
    Then the Zu-bird flew into the mountains
    with its young,
    while Lilith, petrified with fear,
    tore down her house and fled into the wilderness"

    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topics/Lilith/alphabet.html
    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~humm/Topics/Lilith/
    http://www.webcom.com/~gnosis/lillith.html

    ~Raithere
     
  9. Xev Registered Senior Member

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    10,943
    Not quite.

    Lilith is an old myth - the idea of her being Adam's first wife is an interpolation from the middle ages. Origionally she was a demon responsible for killing children and fucking the godly (hence nocturnal emissions, weird eh?).

    Our modern view of Lilith is formed by two sources: Cabalistic works in the middle ages and Romantic interpretations of the legend. It is a tounge in cheek midrash written in about the 9th century that gives us our modern version of Lilith:

    "The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof. After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Genesis 2:18). He then created a woman for Adam, 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. "

    http://eserver.org/feminism/lilith/alphabet.html

    This isn't really admitted into the Lilith mythos until the romantics begin to see Lilith as a female counterpart of Lucifer, in dubious battle with and doomed rebellion to the tyrant God.

    The rest is legend. Lilith is picked up now as a symbol of feminist rebellion, or simply rebellion in general.
     
  10. SwedishFish Conspirator Registered Senior Member

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    1,908
    hence the lilith fair

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    also, lilith on cheers/frasier

    dude, i don't know what adam's problem was. most guys i know think having the chick on top is hot.
     
  11. DethoS Registered Member

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    11
    It might have been the History Channel but I know I saw this on TV before. Only they said that Lilith said God's secret name and God cast her into the sky forever. Very interesting to see Gnostic references of the ineffable one and lineage with demons. I also wonder if there was a different struggle happening beneath the story, such as a battle over power, or a story of how the world used to treat women.
     
  12. Medicine*Woman Jesus: Mythstory--Not History! Valued Senior Member

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    8,346
    Lilith

    Thanks, DethoS, and welcome to sciforums. This is good information. Maybe Lilith was God at that time, and then the jealous god, the one who didn't want any other gods before HIM, took over after casting Lilith into the sky. I've also read that we are all descendants of Seth (Set in Egyptian mythology), and we're all demons! The true story of our everything that came before us (creation), was definitely slanted toward the Patriarchy who recorded history. The power struggle between Lilith and Adam is that he wanted to be god (superior over woman), so god (Jehovah) banished her off the planet for "man's" own good!

    Thank you so much for your response. It makes sense to me!
     
  13. Xev Registered Senior Member

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    10,943
    M*W:
    Uh, no. There's no reference to any of this in the Lilith mythos.
     
  14. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    Xev:
    And picked up like badge that psudo-goth chicks like to wear patched on their sleeve. Let us not forget that nasty habit. Annoying.

    Merci for the info Xev. I know more about this Lilith chick now than ever before.

    btw- Its said that 'llulaby' is a word rooted in a phrase parents used to employ as a shield over their children while they slept. They either would threaten them with Lilith coming and snapping their little heads off, or post a pice of paper that said "Lilith bye" or somesuch to ward her off.

    Don't quote me on this.
     

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