1) Introduction to Lilith

The legend of Lilith is undoubtedly the most fantastic of all ancient rabbinic myths.  According to Jewish lore, Lilith was the first wife of Adam.  She was created at the same time as the man, but whereas God created Adam from the dust of the earth, Lilith was created from filth and sediment.  Lilith was a failed mate.  She argued constantly with Adam and refused to submit sexually to him from an inferior position below.  Eventually, she utterly rebelled against her husband.  She unleashed her long hair and shouted the holy ineffable name of God.  She thereby supernaturally sprouted wings and fled from the garden.  According to popular versions of her legend, Jehovah then sent three angels to return Adam’s errant woman.  They found her in the midst of the Red Sea.  However, she refused to return with them.  She chose instead to mate with angels and become the mother of demons.  Because of her refusal, the angels cursed Lilith that every day 100 of her seed would die.  God then created Eve as a replacement for the wayward Lilith.  Lilith grew angry at Eve for usurping her position. In revenge Lilith resolved that she would visit Eve’s children in childbirth and kill those not protected.  According to most versions of her legend, including that espoused by Kabbalah, Lilith returned to the garden under the title of the infamous Serpent.  As the Serpent, Lilith extracted her ultimate revenge by causing Adam and Eve to fall.

Most people acquainted with the Bible would consider Lilith’s legend as nothing more than a colorful and fanciful myth with no Biblical basis.  This is certainly an understandable position, as the legend’s version of early events in the garden appears completely incongruous with the plain written record of Genesis.  Yet, if there is such scant evidence for Lilith, why have certain sage scholars throughout the ages pondered and even championed her existence?  Michelangelo painted Lilith as the tempting Serpent in his famous frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  Lilith is likewise depicted as the Serpent in a sculpture on the Notre Dame cathedral in France.  Most notably, the rabbis of the Zohar and the Talmud taught her existence.  These writers were the most learned and sophisticated Jewish scholars over the last two thousand years.  On what basis did these most sage experts adopt ideas that appear in conflict with the plain Biblical record?  As we shall see, perhaps the plain Biblical record is not so plain after all.

Figure 1‑1: Lilith Tempting Adam and Eve, Michelangelo – Sistine Chapel Vatican

Figure 1‑2: Lilith Tempting Adam and Eve, Notre Dame Cathedral

As the book The Case for Lilith reveals, there are numerous Biblical evidences supporting the existence of Lilith as the Serpent.  More importantly, this book shows that her legend is not incompatible with traditional Judeo-Christian views on fundamental Biblical tenets.  Quite the opposite, her legend illuminates and explains various Biblical mysteries that would otherwise be left unresolved.  For example, Lilith nicely explains God’s foretold rivalry between the Serpent and Eve and between their seed.  She also explains various inconsistencies in the creation accounts of a man and woman in Genesis.  Her story also explains the critical and fascinating role of a female demon named Lilith in Isaiah.  This is Lilith’s only direct mention by name in the Bible.  In Isaiah Lilith stands at the crux of God’s final judgment of mankind on Yom Kippur.  There she is emblematic of the wicked who shall be damned.  In Isaiah Lilith has a counterpart named Ishshah.  Ishshah is the first name Adam gave Eve, and it is the name she bore during God’s judgment of her and the Serpent in the garden.  It is clear that Isaiah is referring to the rivalry between the Serpent and Eve when he discusses the end time judgment of Lilith and Ishshah.  Isaiah declares that Ishshah (Eve) shall not be damned like Lilith on Yom Kippur.  Instead God shall redeem her into his promised kingdom.  By Isaiah linking Lilith to the great Yom Kippur judgment of mankind, she also becomes linked to the demon Azazel, who plays a strange, yet critical, role in the Yom Kippur ceremony of Leviticus.  In that ceremony Azazel acts as a rival to Messiah in the scapegoat ritual.  This role identifies Azazel as none other than the infamous seed of the Serpent, whom God foretold would be locked in eternal enmity with Eve’s seed, Messiah.  Lilith’s legend explains Azazel’s origins.

Many of the clues for Lilith in the Bible are subtle, but once pointed out they become obvious and convincing.  The strongest evidences are revealed only by a careful reading of the literal Hebrew and by a critical examination of the implied facts.  The book The Case for Lilith analyzes 23 evidences in the Bible that supports the existence of Lilith.  Incredibility, these evidences support all the essential facets of her legend, such as why she is said to be created from mud and muck, and not dust like Adam.  These evidences also identify Lilith as the Serpent of the garden.  In fact, the detailed findings from this book’s analysis are so remarkably in harmony with most elements of Lilith’s rabbinic legends, I can only conclude that the analytical process used in this book must be much the same means by which the ancient rabbis originally derived details of her legend from the Bible.

Some critics may be quite skeptical about accepting Lilith.  For them, Genesis plainly speaks of no such woman.  However, if Lilith can be identified as the Serpent of Eden, even they must admit she plays a very overt and prominent role in the early Bible.  The Serpent is second in prominence only to Adam in the early chapters of Genesis.[1]  The book The Case for Lilith presents a strong case from Biblical evidence that the Serpent can be safely identified as Lilith.

Other critics might argue that if Lilith’s legend was true and she was the Serpent, then why does Genesis so tenuously record her creation and her pre-Serpent actions?  Why does just simply overlooking or misinterpreting a few verses make her seemingly disappear from the account?  As the book demonstrates, Genesis plainly records Lilith’s creation from the dust alongside Adam in the original Hebrew.  It cleverly interweaves her creation narrative with Adam’s in a poetic doublet.  Her creation is even apparent in the imprecise English translation of the King James Version (KJV).  It is true that Genesis does not directly record Lilith’s early personal actions.  This period of semi-silence covers the time just after her creation to her return as the Serpent.  During this period Genesis does record the ramifications of her actions upon Adam and the garden, but it omits direct references to her.  This lack of direct mention is apparently done for mystical reasons.  Perhaps Genesis does not wish to stress the acts of this rebellious woman, until her actions as the Serpent have dire consequences on Adam and his linage.  Another possibility is that the Serpent Lilith’s legend was so prominent in the ancient world, her actions hardly needed elaboration in Genesis.

This book has two main goals.  The first is to put forth a complete case for Lilith based solely on Biblical evidence.  This is sorely needed, as I have yet to find in the public domain a coherent collection of the numerous Biblical arguments for her.  The only argument proponents usually put forward is outrageously flawed.  The faulty argument notes that there are two creation accounts of a woman in Genesis — one in chapter 1 and another in chapter 2.  The argument asserts that none of the creation events described in Genesis 2 is a recap or retelling of creation events that happened in Genesis 1.  Thus, when Genesis 1 speaks of the creation of a man and woman and Genesis 2 then speaks of the creation of Eve, the two passages must refer to different events.  This simplistic argument is based on shamefully faulty logic.  If all of Genesis 2 was read as documenting new events not specified in Genesis 1, then Ge 2:7 would imply there are also two Adams!  Furthermore, there would be two whole planets, each with its own ocean and biosphere!  We must recognize that parts of Genesis 2 do recap Genesis 1, and that the Lilith argument must be put forth with more care and much more rigor.

The second goal of this book is to fathom the implications of Lilith on the message of the Bible.  If she really did exist according Genesis, then what does her story mean to the overall message of the Bible?  As we shall see, her tale solves long standing Biblical mysteries and greatly enriches the Bible’s redemptive message without compromising any key traditional Judeo-Christian teachings or understandings.

The Biblical Lilith

By the conclusion of this book, a remarkably detailed account of Lilith will emerge from strictly Biblical evidences.  As we shall see, there are textual clues in Genesis that a woman was fashioned from the earth at the same time as Adam.  However, whereas Adam’s prepared body was animated by God’s holy breath that filled his nostrils, the woman’s body was animated by a defiling mist that erupted from the earth and watered her face.  Genesis declares that the woman was destined to become the head of a rival generation to the man’s.  It calls her linage the generations of the heavens, because its beginnings would lay in her mating with fallen angels.  Genesis calls the man’s linage the generations of the earth, because its beginnings laid in Adam (and Eve taken from his side), which was already complete upon the earth with the man’s creation.  Genesis declares that after a long struggle, Adam’s generations would ultimately flourish and inherit the earth.  The woman’s generations would ultimately fail.  They would fall to the curses rained down in Noah’s flood and become demons (disembodied complaining spirits) rejected from the presence of God and doomed to roam the earth until the final judgment.

In God’s infamous judgment of Eve and the Serpent in the garden, God declares that the Serpent Lilith and her seed would be locked in epic battle with Eve and her promised seed.  Lilith’s seed would bruise the heel of Eve’s seed, but Eve’s seed would crush Lilith’s head.  Eve’s promised seed was Messiah.  Lilith’s seed was a rival to Messiah.  The Yom Kippur ceremony of Leviticus reveals that this rival was Azazel.  The ceremony is a foreshadowing of God’s final judgment of all mankind in the end days.  In that ceremony the High Priest cast lots upon two goats.  The goat upon whom is cast the lot “to Jehovah” is taken to the altar and sacrificed.  Its accepted blood offering brings redemption to the High Priest and to all Israel.  This goat and High Priest are archetypes of the slain and risen Messiah.  However, the other goat upon whom is cast the lot “to Azazel” is the scapegoat.  It is a rejected sacrifice sent away into the wilderness to Azazel, bearing all the world’s sins.  Azazel is the ceremony’s counterpart to Messiah.  This identifies him as the seed of the Serpent Lilith.  The link between Azazel and Lilith is confirmed when the Isaiah discusses the end times judgment of man.  The prophet uses the imagery of Yom Kippur, and he places Lilith at the fulcrum of the judgment.  Thus, both Lilith and Azazel are linked to the end times judgment of Yom Kippur.

A fascinating revelation in Genesis is that God judged the Serpent and Eve in accordance with the rituals of the bitter water trial specified in Numbers chapter 5.  That trial was used for determining the guilt of a wayward wife suspected of adultery.  In the trial a priest strew dust into water in which the holy name of Jehovah had been blotted.  The suspected woman then drank the water, and a supernatural curse of bitterness began in her belly.  The priest then took her sacrifice to the altar.  Afterwards, she drank again of the waters.  If the woman was guilty, upon her second drinking her belly swelled, her thigh fell away, and she perished.  The rabbis called this adulterous wife a Sotah.  However, if the woman was innocent, she was spared the curses and promised a seed as recompense for the trial.

The similarities between God’s cursing of the Serpent Lilith and Eve and the cursing of the Sotah trial are unmistakable.  Part of God’s curse upon the Serpent was to eat dust and go upon her belly.  This mirrors the Sotah of the trial.  She is cursed in her belly that swells from the consumption of dust.  In the garden God cursed Eve to give birth in pain, just as the innocent woman of the trial is cursed to bear her promised seed in the pain of the initial bitter water curses.  The epic battle of the Serpent Lilith and her seed against Eve and her promised seed are also mirrored in the bitter water trial.  As this book shall reveal, the mystical key to the trial is the supernatural insemination of two types of seed.  The guilty Sotah bears a mystical seed of defilement and idolatry that is a rejected sacrifice to Jehovah.  Her swelling belly is the result of this supernatural pregnancy that brings death and curses to the Sotah.  However, the innocent woman bears a mystical promised seed that is an accepted sacrifice.  It lifts away her curses.  As a recompense for her loss, Numbers declares the innocent woman shall receive a second promised seed as a replacement for the first, and she births this physical seed outside of the trial.  In the garden parallel to the trial, Lilith was the first Sotah, and Eve was the first innocent woman.  Eve’s promised seed was Messiah.  Lilith’s seed was Azazel.  Azazel is a rejected sacrifice of atonement that brings death and curses, just as revealed in the Yom Kippur ceremony.

This book will fully explore the Azazel and Lilith connection.  Clues in the First Book of Enoch indicate that Azazel was the firstborn seed of Lilith mating with fallen angels called Watchers.  There is an erroneous age-old assumption by many scholars that the Azazel himself was a Watcher.  However, a careful analysis of First Enoch reveals that the book actually teaches that Azazel was the first-born seed of the Watchers, and not a Watcher himself.  The seed of the Watchers mating with women were called the Nephilim.  They were a race of giants with extraordinary ability that out-competed ordinary men.  First Enoch relates that the Nephilim nearly pushed Adam’s unpolluted linage to extinction before the flood.  Genesis and First Enoch both teach that it was because of the Nephilim that God brought Noah’s flood.  God used the flood to restore Adam’s pure linage to prominence upon the earth.  As we shall see, certain clues in First Enoch and vague ancient legends suggest that Lilith was responsible for enabling the Watchers to mate with the daughters of men.  In Lilith’s quest to conceive Azazel, she made a deal with the Watchers.  She would teach the Watchers how to go unto the daughters of Adam and conceive seed, if their leader Semjaza would agree first to mate with her and conceive her seed.  Therefore, Lilith was responsible for allowing the entire race of Nephilim to come upon the earth, and her actions were the ultimate root cause for Noah’s flood.

The depths of Lilith’s legend in the Bible are truly amazing.  Realizing she is the Serpent does not change the fundamental message of the Bible.  However, in recognizing Lilith, a face is put on evil.  The Serpent has understandable motives, and the epic battle between the Serpent and Eve has new understanding.  But is Lilith really in Genesis?  Read the argument for her case, and judge for yourself.

[1] This prominence is demonstrated in several ways.  The Serpent is the first speaking character other than Adam (Ge 3:1).  The Serpent also has a more dominate role than Eve based on the number of words each speaks and the number of words spoken to each.  The Serpent speaks 26 Hebrew words compared to Eve’s 22.  The Serpent also receives more attention from God.  The curses God heaps upon the Serpent consist of 33 Hebrew words.  The curses God inflicts upon Eve comprise a mere 13 words.