Advancing

Adam’s first wife Lilith

According to the Alphabet of Ben Sira, from the 8th–10th centuries Adam had a wife before Eve named Lilith. When God created Adam, he was lonely. 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 I am to be the superior one.’ Lilith responded, ‘We are equal to each other in as much 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. God sent three angels in pursuit of Lilith. They caught her and ordered her to return to Adam. She refused, and said that she would henceforth weaken and kill little children, infants and babies. The angels overpowered her, and she promised that if the mother hung an amulet over the baby bearing the names of the three angels, she would stay away from that home. So they let her go, and God created Eve to be Adam’s mate [created from Adam’s rib, so that she couldn’t claim equality]. And ever since, Lilith flies around the world, howling her hatred of mankind through the night, and vowing vengeance because of the shabby treatment she had received from Adam. She is also called “The Howling One.”

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