The lilu had a companion who is called his handmaid or servant. Lilith — Legendary Early Woman [And also: And to this refers the verse, And there shall repose Lilith and find her a place of rest Isa. Lilith — The First Eve  The bronze plaque on the lower right shows Lamastu being forced back into the underworld by the demon- God Pazuzu. Slithering quietly like as snake into a home, she could snatch a baby out of the womb or out of its cradle.
She also could also inflict disease upon both men and women. Her father is the primordial sky- God Anu, the prime-mover at the beginning of creation, who took over Heaven and separated it from Earth. In revenge, Lamia began to steal and kill the children of others.
She became a hideous creature. Because Hera had condemned her to sleeplessness, Zeus gave Lamia the ability to remove her own eyes at will in order to sleep. In later legend the lamia was a vampire that seduced young men; this version of the story inspired the poem Lamia by John Keats.
Both Samael, king of the demons, and Lilith were born in a spiritual birth androgynously. This is possibly indicated in the numerous Hebrew inscriptions, painted upon bowls, dated to around that time. These inscriptions picture a particularly nasty looking demoness by the name of Lilith, and the words are for protection against Her. The work in question is a tenth-century folktale called "The Alphabet of Ben Sira," where Lilith is presented as the first wife of Adam.
Jacob, seems to have exerted significant influence on R. Moses de Leon , the author of the Zohar. It is enough later than the Alphabet of b. Sira for the author to be familiar with that tradition, but it betrays no apparent knowledge of it. This could mean that b. Sira was unknown to R. Scholem argues that b. Sira is a major source for Lilith material in the Zohar, but my inclination is to see this text as much more influential in that regard. I will now set down the names of the princes of jealousy and enmity. Yet since their essence and their service is true and pure, their mouths are free from mendacity and neither lies nor falsehoods pass between them.
The first prince and accuser, the commander of jealousy, is evil Samael , accompanied by his retinue. He is called "evil" not because of his nature but because he desires to unite and intimately mingle with an emanation not of his nature, as we shall explain. These latter comprise the delegation of evil angels. In answer to your question concerning Lilith , I shall explain to you the essence of the matter. Concerning this point there is a received tradition from the ancient Sages who made use of the Secret Knowledge of the Lesser Palaces, which is the manipulation of demons and a ladder by which one ascends to the prophetic levels.
In this tradition it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above. This is the account of Lilith which was received by the Sages in the Secret Knowledge of the Palaces. The Matron Lilith is the mate of Samael. Both of them were born at the same hour in the image of Adam and Eve, intertwined in each other.
Asmodeus the great king of the demons has as a mate the Lesser younger Lilith , daughter of the king whose name is Qafsefoni. The name of his mate is Mehetabel daughter of Matred , and their daughter is Lilith. This is the exact text of what is written in The Chapters of the Lesser Palaces as we have received it, word for word and letter for letter. And the scholars of this wisdom possess a very profound tradition from the ancients. They found it stated in those Chapters that Samael, the great prince of them all, grew exceedingly jealous of Asmodeus the king of the demons because of this Lilith who is called Lilith the Maiden the young.
She is in the form of a beautiful woman from her head to her waist. But from the waist down she is burning fire--like mother like daughter.
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She is called Mehetabel daughter of Matred , and the meaning is something immersed mabu tabal. The meaning here is that her intentions are never for the good. She only seeks to incite wars and various demons of war and the war between Daughter Lilith and Matron Lilith. They say that from Asmodeus and his mate Lilith a great prince was born in heaven. He is the ruler of eighty thousand destructive demons and is called " the sword of king Asmodeus.
He is also called Gurigur , for he antagonizes and struggles with the prince of Judah, who is called Gur Aryeh Yehudah Lion-cub of Judah. From the same form that gave birth to this war-demon another prince, a prince whose root is in Kingdom, was born in heaven. He is called " the sword of the Messiah. When the time comes and when God wishes, this sword will leave its sheath and verses of prophecy will come True: Soon in our days may we merit to see the face of the Messiah our righteous one; we and all our people I shall now teach you a wonderful innovation.
You already know that evil Samael and wicked Lilith are like a sexual pair who, by means of an intermediary, receive an evil and wicked emanation from one and emanate to the other. I shall explain this relying on the esoteric meaning in the verse,. As there is a pure Leviathan in the sea and it is called a serpent , so there is a great defiled serpent in the sea in the literal sense.
The same holds true above in a hidden way. The heavenly serpent is a blind prince, the image of an intermediary between Samael and Lilith. The masters of tradition said that just as this serpent slithers without eyes, so the supernal serpent has the image of a spiritual form without color--these are "the eyes.
He is the bond, the accompaniment, and the union between Samael and Lilith. If he were created whole in the fullness of his emanation he would have destroyed the world in an instant. When the divine Will arrives and the emanation of Samael and Lilith weakens the emanation achieved by the blind prince, they will be completely annihilated by Gabriel prince of Strength, who instigates war against them with the aid of the prince of Lovingkindness.
Then the verse which we have expounded according to its secret meaning will come true I found written in the name of an ancient traditionist and in the name of the perfect Hasid of blessed memory  that Lilith is also Taninsam. He will eat deadly poison at the hands of the prince of Strength; it is an elixir of life for all whose inclination overcomes them.
Then he participates with Michael , the prince of Lovingkindness, in defeating the rule of evil in heaven and on earth. Then the verse will come true: The secret of the covenant of salt melab  is the kingdom of the accompaniment of beauty  Therefore they hinted with secrets regarding the salted fish [Leviathan] to feed the righteous in future time. Happy is he who understands these things as they are. Rabbi Judah the Hasid? However, he makes a very important point in his essay " Looking for Lilith: I personally would not rule out the possibility that it was actually an anti-Jewish satire--though, to be sure, it did come to be accepted by the Jewish mystics of medieval Germany; and amulets to fend off the vengeful Lilith became an essential protection for newborn infants in many Jewish communities.
Some fascinating Aramaic incantation bowls, dated to the sixth century CE, include formulae to cast Lillit out. The existence of such early anti-Lillit materials, two hundred years older than the first texts that we have about her, suggests that there was an ongoing oral tradition about Lillit long before her story was written down. I propose that Lilith is not only a part of that oral tradition, but also created as a darker half of another Jewish folk legend, one whom also used the Ineffable name of God to escape sexual oppression: So he gave her his wings and taught her the Name, whereupon she uttered it, went up to heaven, and was spared from corruption.
The Holy One said: Since she shunned transgression, go and set her among the seven stars yonder. Thus, it came about that Istahar was set in the constellation of Draco. Also, another version of the story from Legends of the Jews: When the angels came to earth, and beheld the daughters of men in all their grace and beauty, they could not restrain their passion. He tells how Justice, a daughter of Dawn, ruled mankind virtuously in the Golden Age; but when the Silver and Bronze ages brought greed and slaughter among them, she exclaimed: Popular Egyptian belief identified Orion , the constellation which became Shemhazai , with the soul of Osiris.
About the myth of Astraea: As time went on and men grew wicked, Astraea fled to the starry zodiac where she still resides right next to the Scales of Justice, the constellation Libra. She is often confused with Dike, the daughter of Zeus and Themis, who replaced her as Goddess of justice. During the War of the Titans Astraia was an ally of Zeus. Like Nike Victory she became one of his attendants — the bearer of his thunderbolts. The reward for her loyalty may have been to retain her virginity she is the only remaining virgin amongst the Titanides and a place amongst the stars as the constellation Virgo although she was born a star- God dess she was presumably, at first, only a single star like her brothers.
Astraia - the Starry One. Here is a basic comparison of the legends, as demonstrated below: Lilith is elevated as the consort of God. Lilith lived in the Garden of Eden when God was in the Eden, before man had sinned. Astraea elevated herself into the constellations.
Astraea lived with man during a "Golden Age" where the God s lived with humans. Astraea was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Immediately they descended to earth , and the evil impulse gained control of them. When they beheld the beauty of mortal women, they went astray after them, and were unable to suppress their lust, as Scripture attests: He fixed his gaze upon her and said to her: An individual Lilith, along with Bagdana "king of the lilits", is one of the demons to feature prominently in protective spells in the eighty surviving Jewish occult incantation bowls from Sassanid Empire Babylon 4th—6th century CE.
Amen, Amen, Selah, Halleluyah! The pseudepigraphical  8th—10th centuries Alphabet of Ben Sira is considered to be the oldest form of the story of Lilith as Adam's first wife. Whether this particular tradition is older is not known. Scholars tend to date the Alphabet between the 8th and 10th centuries CE. The work has been characterized as satirical. In the text an amulet is inscribed with the names of three angels Senoy , Sansenoy , and Semangelof and placed around the neck of newborn boys in order to protect them from the lilin until their circumcision.
However, the idea that Lilith was the predecessor may be exclusive to the Alphabet. The idea in the text that Adam had a wife prior to Eve may have developed from an interpretation of the Book of Genesis and its dual creation accounts; while Genesis 2: Lilith claims that since she and Adam were created in the same way they were equal and she refuses to submit to him:. After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, "It is not good for man to be alone.
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. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 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. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, "We shall drown you in the sea. 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: 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 background and purpose of The Alphabet of Ben-Sira is unclear. It is a collection of stories about heroes of the Bible and Talmud , it may have been a collection of folk-tales , a refutation of Christian , Karaite , or other separatist movements; its content seems so offensive to contemporary Jews that it was even suggested that it could be an anti-Jewish satire ,  although, in any case, the text was accepted by the Jewish mystics of medieval Germany.
In turn, other scholars argue that the target of the Alphabet's satire is very difficult to establish exactly because of the variety of the figures and values ridiculed therein: Apparently, the first man is not the only male figure who is mocked: The Alphabet of Ben-Sira is the earliest surviving source of the story, and the conception that Lilith was Adam's first wife became only widely known with the 17th century Lexicon Talmudicum of German scholar Johannes Buxtorf.
In this folk tradition that arose in the early Middle Ages Lilith, a dominant female demon, became identified with Asmodeus , King of Demons, as his queen. Thus, the merging of Lilith and Asmodeus was inevitable. In this case Asmodeus and Lilith were believed to procreate demonic offspring endlessly and spread chaos at every turn. The presence of Lilith and her cohorts were considered very real at this time. Two primary characteristics are seen in these legends about Lilith: Lilith as the incarnation of lust, causing men to be led astray, and Lilith as a child-killing witch, who strangles helpless neonates.
These two aspects of the Lilith legend seemed to have evolved separately; there is hardly a tale where she encompasses both roles. Such stories are commonly found among Jewish folklore. Although the image of Lilith of the Alphabet of Ben Sira is unprecedented, some elements in her portrayal can be traced back to the talmudic and midrashic traditions that arose around Eve:.
Lilith | Jewish Women's Archive
Kabbalistic mysticism attempted to establish a more exact relationship between Lilith and the Deity. With her major characteristics having been well-developed by the end of the Talmudic period, after six centuries had elapsed between the Aramaic incantation texts that mention Lilith and the early Spanish Kabbalistic writings in the 13th century, she reappears, and her life history becomes known in greater mythological detail. Her creation is described in many alternative versions. One mentions her creation as being before Adam's, on the fifth day, because the "living creatures" with whose swarms God filled the waters included none other than Lilith.
A similar version, related to the earlier Talmudic passages, recounts how Lilith was fashioned with the same substance as Adam was, shortly before. A third alternative version states that God originally created Adam and Lilith in a manner that the female creature was contained in the male.
Lilith's soul was lodged in the depths of the Great Abyss. When God called her, she joined Adam. After Adam's body was created a thousand souls from the Left evil side attempted to attach themselves to him. However, God drove them off. Adam was left lying as a body without a soul.
Then a cloud descended and God commanded the earth to produce a living soul. This God breathed into Adam, who began to spring to life and his female was attached to his side. God separated the female from Adam's side. The female side was Lilith, whereupon she flew to the Cities of the Sea and attacks humankind. Yet another version claims that Lilith emerged as a divine entity that was born spontaneously, either out of the Great Supernal Abyss or out of the power of an aspect of God the Gevurah of Din.
This aspect of God, one of his ten attributes Sefirot , at its lowest manifestation has an affinity with the realm of evil and it is out of this that Lilith merged with Samael. An alternative story links Lilith with the creation of luminaries. The "first light", which is the light of Mercy one of the Sefirot , appeared on the first day of creation when God said "Let there be light".
This light became hidden and the Holiness became surrounded by a husk of evil. The first medieval source to depict Adam and Lilith in full was the Midrash A. Adam is said to be perfect until he recognizes either his sin or Cain's fratricide that is the cause of bringing death into the world. He then separates from holy Eve, sleeps alone, and fasts for years.
During this time Lilith, also known as Pizna , desired his beauty and came to him against his will.
The mystical writing of two brothers Jacob and Isaac Hacohen, which predates the Zohar by a few decades, states that Samael and Lilith are in the shape of an androgynous being, double-faced, born out of the emanation of the Throne of Glory and corresponding in the spiritual realm to Adam and Eve, who were likewise born as a hermaphrodite.
The two twin androgynous couples resembled each other and both "were like the image of Above"; that is, that they are reproduced in a visible form of an androgynous deity. In answer to your question concerning Lilith, I shall explain to you the essence of the matter. Concerning this point there is a received tradition from the ancient Sages who made use of the Secret Knowledge of the Lesser Palaces, which is the manipulation of demons and a ladder by which one ascends to the prophetic levels.
In this tradition it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above. This is the account of Lilith which was received by the Sages in the Secret Knowledge of the Palaces. Another version [ clarification needed ] that was also current among Kabbalistic circles in the Middle Ages establishes Lilith as the first of Samael's four wives: Lilith, Naamah , Eisheth , and Agrat bat Mahlat. Each of them are mothers of demons and have their own hosts and unclean spirits in no number.
Blind Dragon acts as an intermediary between Lilith and Samael:. Blind Dragon rides Lilith the Sinful — may she be extirpated quickly in our days, Amen! And just as the Dragon that is in the sea Isa. In many 17th century Kabbalistic books, this mythologem is based on the identification of " Leviathan the Slant Serpent and Leviathan the Torturous Serpent" and a reinterpretation of an old Talmudic myth where God castrated the male Leviathan and slew the female Leviathan in order to prevent them from mating and thereby destroying the earth.
A 15th or 16th century Kabbalah text states that God has "cooled" the female Leviathan, meaning that he has made Lilith infertile and she is a mere fornication. The Treatise on the Left Emanation says that there are two Liliths, the lesser being married to the great demon Asmodeus. In this tradition, it is made clear that Samael and Lilith were born as one, similar to the form of Adam and Eve who were also born as one, reflecting what is above. The Matron Lilith is the mate of Samael. Both of them were born at the same hour in the image of Adam and Eve, intertwined in each other.
Asmodeus the great king of the demons has as a mate the Lesser younger Lilith, daughter of the king whose name is Qafsefoni. The name of his mate is Mehetabel daughter of Matred, and their daughter is Lilith. Another passage charges Lilith as being a tempting serpent of Eve. And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands.
And all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity — this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin. This passage may be related to the mention of Lilith in Talmud Shabbath b see above , and also to Talmud Eruvin 18b where nocturnal emissions are connected with the begettal of demons.
Raphael Patai states that older sources state clearly that after Lilith's Red Sea sojourn mentioned also in Louis Ginzberg 's Legends of the Jews , she returned to Adam and begat children from him. In the Zohar, however, Lilith is said to have succeeded in begetting offspring from Adam during their short-lived sexual experience. Lilith leaves Adam in Eden, as she is not a suitable helpmate for him. She returns, later, to force herself upon him. However, before doing so she attaches herself to Cain and bears him numerous spirits and demons.
He was also aware of another story, possibly older, that may be conflicting. The issue of these unions were demons and spirits called "the plagues of humankind". A copy of Jean de Pauly 's translation of the Zohar in the Ritman Library contains an inserted late 17th Century printed Hebrew sheet for use in magical amulets where the prophet Elijah confronts Lilith. The sheet contains two texts within borders, which are amulets, one for a male 'lazakhar' , the other one for a female 'lanekevah'. Sanoy, Sansinoy, Smangeluf, Shmari'el the guardian and Hasdi'el the merciful.
A few lines in Yiddish are followed by the dialogue between the prophet Elijah and Lilith when he met her with her host of demons to kill the mother and take her new-born child 'to drink her blood, suck her bones and eat her flesh'. She tells Elijah that she will lose her power if someone uses her secret names, which she reveals at the end: Yalqut Reubeni , Zohar 1: The demon Lilith, the evil woman, is described as a beautiful woman, who transforms into a blue, butterfly-like demon, and it is associated with the power of seduction.
The Qliphah is the unbalanced power of a Sephirah. Malkuth is the lowest Sephirah, the realm of the earth, into which all the divine energy flows, and in which the divine plan is worked out. However, its unbalanced form is as Lilith, the seductress.
The material world, and all of its pleasures, is the ultimate seductress, and can lead to materialism unbalanced by the spirituality of the higher spheres. This ultimately leads to a descent into animal consciousness. The balance must therefore be found between Malkuth and Kether , to find order and harmony. In the Latin Vulgate Book of Isaiah According to Augustine Calmet , Lilith has connections with early views on vampire and sorcery:. Some learned men have thought they discovered some vestiges of vampirism in the remotest antiquity; but all that they say of it does not come near what is related of the vampires.
Whence it comes that the Jews are accustomed to write in the four corners of the chamber of a woman just delivered, "Adam, Eve, be gone from hence lilith. According to Siegmund Hurwitz the Talmudic Lilith is connected with the Greek Lamia , who, according to Hurwitz, likewise governed a class of child stealing lamia-demons. Lamia bore the title "child killer" and was feared for her malevolence, like Lilith. She has different conflicting origins and is described as having a human upper body from the waist up and a serpentine body from the waist down.
Another, that Lamia was subsequently cursed by the goddess Hera to have stillborn children because of her association with Zeus; alternatively, Hera slew all of Lamia's children except Scylla in anger that Lamia slept with her husband, Zeus. The grief caused Lamia to turn into a monster that took revenge on mothers by stealing their children and devouring them. She was notorious for being a vampiric spirit and loved sucking men's blood. Zeus was said to have given her the gift of sight. However, she was "cursed" to never be able to shut her eyes so that she would forever obsess over her dead children.
Taking pity on Lamia, Zeus gave her the ability to remove and replace her eyes from their sockets. The Empusae were a class of supernatural demons that Lamia was said to have birthed. Hecate would often send them against travelers. They consumed or scared to death any of the people where they inhabited. They bear many similarities to lilim.
It has been suggested that later medieval lore of the succubi or lilim is derived from this myth. Lilith is not found in the Quran or Hadith. The Sufi occult writer Ahmad al-Buni d. Lilith's earliest appearance in the literature of the Romantic period — was in Goethe 's work Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy. Take a good look. Adam's wife, his first.
Her beauty's one boast is her dangerous hair. After Mephistopheles offers this warning to Faust, he then, quite ironically, encourages Faust to dance with "the Pretty Witch". Lilith and Faust engage in a short dialogue, where Lilith recounts the days spent in Eden. I climbed up for them. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood , which developed around ,  were greatly influenced by Goethe's work on the theme of Lilith.
In , Dante Gabriel Rossetti of the Brotherhood began painting what would later be his first rendition of Lady Lilith , a painting he expected to be his "best picture hitherto". Accompanying his Lady Lilith painting from , Rossetti wrote a sonnet entitled Lilith , which was first published in Swinburne's pamphlet-review , Notes on the Royal Academy Exhibition. Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told The witch he loved before the gift of Eve, That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could deceive, And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old, And, subtly of herself contemplative, Draws men to watch the bright web she can weave, Till heart and body and life are in its hold. The rose and poppy are her flower; for where Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
As that youth's eyes burned at thine, so went Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent And round his heart one strangling golden hair.
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