By Ilil Arbel, PhD
Lilith by John Collier – representing her connection to the biblical Eve
Lilith is probably one of the most maligned entities in the Judeo-Christian mythology, and the myriad legends about her demonic nature would not endear her to anyone despite her celebrated beauty. She had been accused of attacks on newborn infants, attempts to hurt new mothers, and evil sexual designs on men who are helpless against her no matter how virtuous they may be, since she seduces through their dreams like a succubus. None these have any basis in reality.
The Babylonian Lilith
Lilith has often been confused with Aruru, an Anunnaki who was involved in the creation of the seven types of early humanity. But like the other legends regarding Lilith, it is entirely untrue. In Hebrew, the name Lilith can mean an owl, so Jewish Hellenistic sources confused her with the Greek Goddess Athena, whose personal animal was an owl. But this is coincidental. Her name, in reality, is associated with the flowering tree Lilac, and with another unidentified blue and fragrant flower that opens only when the temperature, moisture level, and light are perfect.
Midrashic sources said that she was Adam’s first wife and that she had left him, defying God and the angels who went to her as his messengers, trying to persuade her to return. The God thus referred to is the biblical God YHVH, but since the Anunnaki we know as Sinhar YHVH was only one of the creators of humans, this is just another myth. Some say that she told the so-called Fallen Angels not to bow to Adam, who in her opinion was not worthy. Since the term we use for the entities we refer to as the “fallen angels” is a misuse of the name of the Anunnaki themselves, as “Anakim” or “Nephilim,” it is quite unlikely that anyone had the slightest intention of bowing to Adam in the first place.
So what is the real story of Lilith? Who is this elusive person so hated by all religions? And if she had so much to do with God and Adam, why was every trace of her removed from the Bible, only to surface later in the Midrashic legends?
Lilith by Dante Gabrielle Rossetti
Next time I will tell you the truth about this mysterious, beautiful entity, and hopefully, clear her name! Please visit us on Monday, November 14.