figure in Jewish mythology
Lilith (/ˈlɪlɪθ/; Hebrew לִילִית Lîlîṯ) is a figure in Jewish mythology, developed earliest in the Babylonian Talmud (3rd to 5th century AD). Lilith is often envisioned as a dangerous demon of the night, who is sexually wanton, and who steals babies in the darkness.
- While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. 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 Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, 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.
- Adam and Lilith in Alphabet of Sirach
- Gendou Ikari: I am with Adam now. This is the only way to meet with Yui again. The forbidden combination of Adam and Lilith... There's no time. Your AT field can no longer keep your shape. Let's begin, Rei. Open your AT Field... the barrier of your heart. Leave your useless body, and release your soul. Merge all souls into one. And then, go to Yui's side.
- Hideaki Anno, Neon Genesis Evangelion Episode 26: "One More Final: I need you, (July 19, 1997).
- Thou Lilith. . .Hag and Snatcher, I adjure you by the Strong One of Abraham, by the Rock of Isaac, by the Shaddai of Jacob. . .to turn away from this Rashnoi. . .and from Geyonai her husband. . .Your divorce and writ and letter of separation. . .sent through holy angels. . .Amen, Amen, Selah, Halleluyah!
- Babylonian bowl inscription (600 C.E.) as quoted in Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, 3rd enlarged ed. (Detroit: Wayne State, 1990), p. 226; and "Lilith: Seductress, heroine or murderer?", Janet Howe Gaines, Biblical Archeology Society, (03/15/2018).
- Rab Judah citing Samuel ruled: If an abortion had the likeness of Lilith its mother is unclean by reason of the birth, for it is a child but it has wings.
- (Babylonian Talmud on Tractate Nidda 24b)
- The Virgin Mary is reflected in Lilith.
- Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defence (1930), pp. 126–128.
- 'Tis Lilith.
Adam's first wife is she.
Beware the lure within her lovely tresses,
The splendid sole adornment of her hair;
When she succeeds therewith a youth to snare,
Not soon again she frees him from her jesses.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, scene 21. Walpurgis Night. Bayard Taylor's translation.
- Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve)
That ere the snakes, 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 net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Lilith.