The first argument for Lilith that we shall tackle is the notion that Genesis’ account of Eve’s creation is not consistent with its other creation accounts of a woman. In these other accounts, the woman appears to be created at the same time as Adam. The argument holds that this inconsistency is best resolved by concluding that Genesis must be referring to two different women. This argument must be put forth with great care. It is the only evidence usually proffered by proponents of the Lilith legend, and unfortunately, it is almost always presented in an outrageously faulted manner.
Let us review all four separate accounts in Genesis that speak of the creation of Adam and/or a woman. The KJV rendition of each is listed below. I hold that the first three discuss the simultaneous creation of Adam and Lilith, while the last obviously discusses the later creation of Eve. For ease of remembering, I hold that all mentions of a woman in Genesis before Eve’s creation in Ge 2:22 refer to Lilith.
The first creation account comes in Ge 1:26-29. There God creates both a male and female, and the male bears God’s image. God then blesses the two and tells them they may eat of any tree. The brevity of the account certainly makes it appear as though God created both the male and female at the same time. Critics of Lilith would assert that this apparent co-creation of Adam and the woman in the passage is merely an artifact of a much-abbreviated account of Adam and Eve’s separate creations. It is difficult to refute their view based on just this one casual observation of one verse. However, there is more.
Ge 1:26-29 KJV (First telling of Adam and Lilith’s creation)
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.;
The second creation account comes in Ge 2:4-8. It oddly speaks of the generations of the heavens and earth and explains why certain plants did not exist in the earth before this point. It then speaks of a strange mist breaking forth from the earth and watering the ground, and God’s creation of Adam from the dust of the ground. In this most detailed account of Adam’s creation, the simultaneous creation of a woman is not apparent in the KJV. Because of this omission, this account is rightfully taken by critics of Lilith as serious evidence against her legend. However, as we shall see in the next section, there is much in these passages that is not apparent from a casual reading of the KJV.
Ge 2:4-8 KJV (Second re-telling of Adam and Lilith’s creation)
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The third creation account comes in Ge 5:2. Like the first account, it discusses the creation of a man and woman and reveals that God created the man in his own image. It further states that God blessed them and called their collective name Adam in the day they were created (the curiosity of this common name is covered in section 3.6). The brevity of this creation account, like the first, again suggests that both the woman and man were created at the same time. However, critics would again respond by asserting that the illusion of the man and woman’s co-creation is merely an artifact of an extremely succinct recap of Adam and Eve’s separate creations.
Ge 5:1-2 KJV (A third recap of Adam and Lilith’s creation)
1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;
2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
There is further evidence for co-creation in Ge 5:2. The passage states that God blessed and named them “in the day they were created.” This suggests a co-creation. Critics would explain the phrase with two arguments. The first is that Eve was actually created on the same day as Adam. This is difficult to accept, given all the events which transpired between the creations of the two. The second argument is that the word for “day”, yom, is used generically to mean a certain span of time. This is certainly an accepted meaning for yom, but such a usage for it here seems out of place. When yom is used to specify a generic span of time, it usually denotes an era of time marked by some common significant event. For example, the “day of the Lord” might actually refer to an era of judgment that spans over many years. There is no such era apparent in Ge 5:2. In addition, this counter argument of the critics bites both ways. It can also be used to support the notion of co-creation. For just as easily as yom can mean a long span of time, it can also mean a very short span of time, or an instant. Thus, “in the day they were created” could just as easily be understood as saying in the instant they were created, again implying a co-creation of man and woman.
The fourth and final creation account comes in Ge 2:16-24. It clearly speaks of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib some time after God’s warning to Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge.
Ge 2:15-24 KJV (Telling of Eve’s creation as a replacement)
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
In summary, a cursory reading of the first and third creation accounts of a woman seemingly contradict the fourth creation story concerning Eve. The succinctness of the accounts along with some of their wording suggests that Adam and a woman were co-created at the same time. However, there are plausible explanations for the apparent contradictions. A serious problem with the notion that Lilith explains these discrepancies lies in the second creation account of Ge 2:4-8. There Adam appears to be created alone, in conflict with the Lilith legend. However, as we shall see, those passages actually do discuss Lilith’s creation, and they provide the strongest evidence for her in the Bible.