4) Timeline of Events in the Garden

I find it very informative to summarize the vast amount of Biblical information on Lilith into a time-line of probable events.  The following summary timeline of events in Genesis is what I can safely say is supported by the Biblical evidences. 

When Adam was created from dust, both a male and female were created at that time (Ge 1:27, 2:6-7, 5:2).  The man and woman were both created as golems shaped from the dust (Job 26:13).  This female (whom is Lilith) was nominally named ha’adamah (the woman) at her creation (Ge 5:2), just as Adam was named ha’adam (the man).  It was God’s original intention that both the male and female would be created in his image (Ge 1:26).  But whereas the man was created from dry dust and animated by the breath of Jehovah, the woman was animated by a satanic mist that erupted from the earth and watered the face of her prepared body (Ge 2:6).  This preemptive mist animated her in the image of Lucifer’s spirit instead of God’s (Ge 1:27, 5:1).  This ruined the woman for God’s purpose of her being a suitable helpmate for the man.  The woman was not fully human, but was rather considered the supreme beast of the field, a mammal (Ge 3:1).  This was because she was not created in the image of God like the man.  Genesis insinuates that the female had come to curse the earth, whereas the male had come to bring remembrance of Jehovah’s inheritance to the earth (Ge 1:27, 5:2).  It flatly states that with the creation of this male and female two rival generations were being established – one the generations of the heavens and the other the generations of the earth (Ge 2:4-7).  The generations of the earth would be those of the man.  After serving the curses of the woman for a time, the ultimate fate of the man’s generations was to flourish upon the earth.  The generations of the heavens would be those of the woman.  Sired from angels, the ultimate fate of her generations was to become complaining voices of the field.  This happened after God rained down the curses of Noah’s flood upon the earth. 

Despite the woman’s flawed creation, God blessed both her and Adam and commanded them to fill the earth (Ge 1:28).[1]  God stated that both would go by the name of Adam though.  This implied the male’s ascendency.  God also granted them permission at this time to eat of every tree (Ge 1:29).  God then planted the Garden of Eden and placed the man there (Ge 2:8).  After the man was placed in the garden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life came to exist (Ge 2:9).  In addition, a river of water began to flow from Eden to water the garden (Ge 2:10-14).  At this point, if not already before, something must have transpired.  God “took” the man from some situation and caused him to rest (to be free of troubles).  It could also be understood to say that God began to personally lead the man.  At this time God commanded the man to serve the garden and “guard” it (Ge 2:15).  God also warned the man that he might no longer eat of every tree.  Upon pain of death he was forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge (Ge 2:16-17).  It is apparent that something had transpired to cause this new command.  Moreover, the command to guard the garden implied there was a threat against it.  These new commands may reflect new circumstances following the woman’s rebellion.  This notion is supported in the very next verse which relates that at some point the woman had separated from the man, for the man “had become alone” (Ge 2:18).  It is realistic to guess that the woman may have acted on her demonic nature, rebelled, and left.  Her act of defiance may have also played a role in establishing the tree knowledge and the eruption of the river from Eden that watered the garden.  In any event, something important transpired after the man was taken to the garden, for he was forbidden to eat of the tree and commanded to guard the garden. 

At this point God declared that was not good that the man had become alone, and that he would create another helpmate for the man like one previously shown unto him (Ge 2:18).  This previous helpmate refers to ha’adamah (the woman, Lilith).  However, the man may not have entirely given up on the woman yet, because God then brought to the man all the beasts of the field, including the woman, so that he might name them.  In naming them the man demonstrated his authority over them by pronouncing judgment of their character (their names reflected their characteristics and traits).  The woman came and was judged and named by the man.  This is known because all the beasts of field did thusly (Ge 2:19-20), and the woman is deemed a beast of the field (Ge 3:1).  One may surmise that the man may have given the woman the name Lilith at this time (meaning “darkness”), but this is not documented.  In any event, the man’s search was a failure.  No suitable mate was found for him (Ge 2:20).  Thus, the woman was judged and found unsuitable for the man at this encounter. 

Immediately following the man’s failed search, God decided the time was right to create the woman’s replacement, Eve (Ge 2:21-22).  From this, we may surmise that the first woman must have decisively rebelled and sinned at her encounter with the man.  This notion is supported by the fact that after this point the first woman goes by a new title, the Serpent (Ge 3:1).  Her new title implies she was demonically possessed and cursed.  It also suggests a new physical state for her, for the Serpent of Eden is called the “fleeing Serpent” named Leviathan in Isa 27:1 and Job 26:13  The Hebrew for “fleeing” insinuates winged flight, and it definitely indicates that the Serpent was escaping from a situation – namely her situation in the garden.  Because the woman acquired her title of Serpent late in the Genesis account, this confirms a transformational event must have occurred to her. 

At Eve’s creation, the man remarked that “this time” his woman was made of his own bone and flesh (Ge 2:23).  “This time” is in reference to the creation of the previous woman, Lilith, who was not made from the man’s flesh, but rather from dust.  The man then named his new mate Ishshah (woman), because she was taken from iysh (man).  Adam could not give her the more logical name — Adamah or ha’adamah (the woman), in the sense that she was taken from Adam or ha’adam (the man) — because that name was already taken.  The man then prophesized that for Ishshah (i.e. Eve), he would forsake God his father, and he would cling to her (Ge 2:24).  This had dire consequences, for the Serpent Lilith returned to the garden and sought to bring down Ishshah. 

The Serpent deceived Ishshah (i.e. Eve) into sinning by eating of the forbidden tree (Ge 3:1-6).  The Serpent began her temptation by challenging Ishshah if God really did forbid her eating of the tree.  Ishshah not only confirmed this prohibition, but added an additional commandment that she could not even touch it.  The rabbis have speculated the man added this command to Ishshah as a precaution against her accidentally eating of the tree by getting near it.  The rabbis further speculate that the Serpent may have caused Ishshah to unintentionally touch the fruit at this time, so that when nothing happened to her, doubt entered into Ishshah’s mind about the validity of God’s command.  Whether these speculations are correct or not, there are concrete clues in the literal Hebrew as to what the Serpent did do.  The literal Hebrew says that Ishshah “saw” that the tree was 1) good for food, 2) made one beautiful, and 3) made one wise.  Thus, it would appear that the Serpent Lilith demonstrated these attributes in front of her.  To accomplish this, the Serpent herself must have eaten of the forbidden tree in view of Ishshah.  After no ill effects overcame the Serpent, this demonstrated the fruit was good for food.  

Next, the Serpent somehow showed Ishshah (i.e. Eve) that the fruit made one beautiful.  One might speculate that the Serpent Lilith used the power and glamour of Lucifer to appear as a beautiful creature of Light before Ishshah, promising her that she too could become the same if she ate.  This notion is supported by a passage in a 13th century Kabbalistic work called the “Treatise on the Left Emanation.”  It says, “And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness.”  The husks of holy light refer to the glory of Lucifer, who radiates God’s holy light. 

Lastly, the Serpent somehow demonstrated to Ishshah that the fruit of the tree made one wise.  Precisely what she did to demonstrate this is a mystery.  In any event, Ishshah was convinced and ate. 

When the man saw the fallen state of Ishshah (Eve), he was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14).  Instead he listened to her voice (sought to commune with her) and voluntarily joined her in her fallen state.  Apparently, he did this out of love, lest he be alone again.  The man himself prophesized this in Ge 2:24.  There he declared that he would forsake God his father in order to cling unto Ishshah.  By eating of the tree, the man forsook God and joined Ishshah, thereby fulfilling his prophesy.  Some Sages have noted that when the man explains to Jehovah that Ishshah gave him of the fruit and v’akal (I ate – lka:w), the verb is in the present future tense.  It was as if the man was saying, “I have eaten and will eat again”, given the same circumstances.[2]  Another interesting line of thought is that the man had little choice in joining Ishshah.  He had made a vow in Ge 2:24 that their flesh was one.  Thus, when Ishshah ate and suffered the curse of the fruit, it was almost as if the man ate and suffered the curse in the same instant.  They were one flesh. 

After the man ate of the tree of knowledge, he, Ishshah (Eve), and the Serpent were brought together to be judged by God.  Ishshah and the Serpent were judged and cursed according to the rituals of the bitter water trial laid out in Nu 5:10-31.  This supernatural trial tested women accused of adultery and of turning aside from under their husbands.  The Serpent Lilith was judged and cursed according to the defiled adulteress enduring the trial.  Like the trial’s adulteress, the Serpent was forced to eat dust, was cursed in her belly, and her seed would wound the innocent woman’s promised seed.  Also like the trial, the innocent woman’s promised seed would miraculously revive and slay the Serpent’s seed and the Serpent herself.  Ishshah was cursed according to the innocent woman of the trial.  She would bear seed in sorrow and pain, but shall be saved in her child bearing (1 Timothy 2:15), just as the innocent woman of the trial initially suffered the curses before having them removed by her promised seed. 

In God’s judgment of the man, Adam was cursed to serve “the ground” (ha’adamah), which was cursed for his sake.  He would sweat and toil under the burden of this service.  The man’s command to serve the ground was in lieu of the man serving the garden, which was God’s previous command to him.  The man’s servitude to the ground (ha’adamah) is in allusion to him being subjugated to the evils of Lilith, the woman (ha’adamah), who was cursed by God above all animals for the sake of Adam, such that he and Eve could find eventual salvation. 

At the conclusion of God’s judgment and cursing of the three, Adam renamed Ishshah with the honorable name of Eve.  He did this because Eve (meaning life) was the mother of all living.  He recognized that in Eve’s curse of pain in childbirth, came the salvation of them both.  In her and her seed, he would not die.  God clothed the two with animal skins, so that he might not look upon their nakedness anymore.  God then sent them from the garden, lest they should eat of the tree of eternal life in their fallen condition and be forever damned. 

What Lilith did after God’s judgment of her in the garden is largely the topic of chapter 6.  Suffice it to say that she fulfilled God’s prophesy that she would bear a seed in rivalry with Eve’s seed of Messiah.  Lilith’s seed was Azazel, who she conceived by consorting with fallen angels called Watchers.  In its description of the Yom Kippur ceremony, Leviticus establishes Azazel’s ultimate role as rival to Messiah.  In bearing Azazel, Lilith completed the final requirements for being the complete wayward woman of the bitter water trial.  She turned aside from her husband and God and had adulterous / idolatrous relations with angels.  Azazel and his Nephilim brethren nearly pushed Adam’s linage to extinction before Noah’s flood.  However, God imprisoned the Watchers and brought the flood to destroy the Nephilim.  The Nephilim returned after the flood in a reduced state as the Gibborim.  They survived across the flood through Naamah, the wife of Noah’s son Ham.  Israel apparently destroyed the last of this defiled linage in the time of King David.

[1] Not punishing the woman is in keeping with the notion that God does not punish sin until it actually occurs because it is not in God’s nature to punish beings for sins not yet committed. 

[2] The Stone Chumash, Bereishis 3:12.