Lilith in the NIV?

The Talmudic Myth of Lilith  

When studying the various teachings in the Talmud about demons, one immediately discovers references to the name Lilith. This is significant because today, the New Age movement speaks of "Lilith rising."

The previous information regarding the Sabbath, Agrath, the daughter of Ma'hlath, and the demons are connected to Lilith in the Talmud, Midrash and Zohar.

Lilith is equated with a "first Eve", the feminine dark side of the divine and goddesses such as Isis, Astarte, the Black Madonna or Queen of Demons and other false gods. The myth of Lilith is a gnostic perversion of the Biblical account of Creation and Adam and Eve.

The Jewish, "LILITH Magazine", featured "All you ever Wanted to Know about Lilith", which was originally printed in their premier issue in the fall of 1976, and provides this insight to the identity of Lilith.

"Commentators have often translated "lilith" as "night-monster," associating the name with layil, the Hebrew word for night; thus, Rabbi Hanina forbids men to sleep alone in a house at night lest they fall prey to her (Shabbat 151b). (The Akadian "lilitu," a female spirit wind, is probably a more accurate etymology, however.)" 18.

It becomes apparent that there are many versions of Lilith, but author, Judy Weinberg, presents two of the most common teachings as they are found in the Talmud and Midrash.

"Two separate and distinct beings-Lilith of the Talmud and Eve 1 of the midrash-came together into one, to become Lilith, Adam's first mate. We can see this process of integration in the Alphabet itself. In the beginning of this account, Lilith is characterized as a woman (ishah). By the end of the story, however, her children are called demons (sheydim) and she herself has powers that can only be warded off by the mystical means of an amulet. Thus, having equated his protagonist with Lilith of the Talmud, the author was forced to assign her the characteristics attributed to her by that work." 19.

"…The first available version of the Creation story which associates the name Lilith with a "first Eve" is included in the Alphabet of Ben-Sira , a work probably written sometime in the Gaonic period (600-1000 C.E.). This account merges into two separate and distinct traditions-that of the Lilith of the Talmud and that of the "first Eve" of the midrash (legends)." 20.

Lilith in the NIV?


It is curious how Lilith materialized in the Talmud, since there is no record of her in the Torah. "LILITH Magazine" states:

"The personality called "Lilith" in the Talmud shows no connection with Adam at all. From the four specific references to Lilith in the Babylonian Talmud, we learn only that she is a wild-haired and winged creature with nymphomaniac tendencies (Erubin 100b, Niddah 24b, Shabbat 151b); and the mother of demons (Bava Batra 73a )." 21.

Lilith Magazine also declares that Lilith is mentioned in the Bible.

"Such a characterization of Lilith may have been drawn from the single Biblical mention of "lilith" (Isaiah 34:14):

"The wild creatures of the desert shall meet with the jackals, the goat demon shall call to his fellow, the lilith shall also repose there and find for herself a place of rest." 22.

Upon attempting to verify this verse in the Authorized King James Bible, we found no such mention of Lilith, or the goat demon, but rather the following:

"The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest." (KJV)

It should be noted that the NIV translation allows for the interpretation of the previous verse to include demons and the Lilith teachings.

"Desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and wild goats will bleat to each other; there the night creatures will also repose and find for themselves places of rest.: (NIV)

The footnotes to this verse include reference to… " Desert creatures...hyenas ... wild goats. Sometimes connected with demons… night creatures. Outside the Bible a related Semitic word refers to a "night demon."

From the web site, "Lilith and the Talmud," we learned that Lilith and related topics are covered in sections of The Babylonian Talmud:

"b. Erubuin 18b: "Rabbi Jeremia ben Eleazer said, "During those years (after their expulsion from the Garden) in which Adam, the first man Was separated from Eve, he became the father of ghouls and demons and lilin." Rabbi Meir said, "Adam, the first man, being very pious and finding that he has caused death to come into the world, sat fasting for 130 years, and separated himself from his wife for 130 years, and wore fig vines for 130 years. His fathering of evil spirits, referred to here, came as a result of wet dreams." 23.

"Section b. Erubin 100b, refers to Lilith growing long hair; B. Nidda 24b refers to Lilith as a demoness with a human appearance except that she has wings;" 24.

b. Shab. 151b of The Babylonian Talmud states:

"One may not sleep alone in a house, for Lilith takes hold of whoever sleeps alone in the house." 25.

b. Baba Bathra 73-b continues with:

"Rabba bar bar Hana said, " I once saw Hormin, a son of Lilith, running on the battlements of Mahoza…. When the demonic government heard of it, they killed him [for showing himself]." 26.