I came across Lilith in the graphic novel Lucifer, but it seems she is mentioned in Jewish mythology Babylonian Talmud among other texts.

The story goes

Lillith was in the original creational myth, where she was created along side with Adam. However, she refused to submit to him in the missionary position, and left Eden, and later borne Cain's and the Lucifer's children. Some Islamic versions and Orthodox version of Genesis still have this.

An extensive article on this is here

So why was the Lilith's story left out of the bible?

I think in part that the Lilith story was left out because this story gives woman some pretty serious power. Now think about that for a moment. At the time that the our Holy Canon was first put together, the Roman Catholic Church was under the direct rule of the strict Roman Emperor Constantine. The Emperor Constantine was the epitome of what it meant to be Roman, and although wealthy, aristocratic, Roman women could rule and hold power- the majority of Roman women lived under the poverty line, and no better off than was the common, household, slave at that time. Average Roman women were not allowed to be a man's equal. It just wasn't allowed. Therefore how then could they be equal in the eyes of God?

Is any of this proven or just folklore?

Does anyone know whether this is mentioned in Jewish religious texts or the Quran?

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    Lilith's story is written after the Bible. More that a 1000 years later in fact. The claim she was written out is absolute hogwash. The Wikipedia article on this is pretty good, actually. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilith Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 9:18
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    @David: And in none of the places in the Swedish bible do they mean Adams wife Lilith. They seem to talk about an unclean animal, or the demons called Lilith. The Swedish Bible is alone in it's interpretation of the incomprehensible original text in Job 18:15. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 9:36
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    @Lennart: Let's take Moses writing of the Bible around 1445 BC, but wikipedia says the figure of Lilith first appeared in a class of wind and storm demons or spirits as lilitu, in Sumer, circa 4000 BC as well as the phonetic name Lilith is traditionally thought to have originated in Ancient Israel, and to have pre-dated at least 700 BC. So I'm not clear if Lilith is indeed 1000 years later than Genesis.
    – JoseK
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 9:59
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    @JoseK, what do you mean by the "Orthodox" version of Genesis?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 13:19
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    Your second quote has some pretty serious problems. Genesis is part of the Jewish scriptures (as well as the Christian) so the Catholic church could not have unilaterally removed anything from it. If the writer of the article didn't understand that then there is no reason to take them seriously. Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


I found an "Overview of Lilith" from an Alan Humm. His (own) biography page lists him as a PhD in Religious Studies but a quick searching of the internet didn't reveal much information about him.

The relevant parts of the Lilith notes (emphasis added):

Lilith is the most important of a small collection of named female demons in Jewish legend. Historically, she is actually older than Judaism (at least Judaism as defined as a post-restoration phenomenon). Her earliest appearance is probably in ancient Sumer. Although it is far from certain, she may be a minor character in a prologue to the Epic of Gilgamesh. In the ancient world she also sometimes appears in magical texts, amulets, etc., intended to thwart her activities. She appears once in the Bible (Isaiah), in a context that associates her with demons of the desert, and again in some Dead Sea Scroll passages clearly based on the Isaiah reference.

And later in the article (emphasis added):

Somewhere between the eighth and tenth centuries, CE, she makes an appearance in a satirical work entitled the Alphabet of Ben Sira. It is here that she is first given what has become her most famous persona: the first wife of Adam (before Eve). In this story, she is created at more or less the same time as Adam, and, as was Adam, out of the ground. Because of this she tries to assert her equality -- an assertion which Adam rejects. [...]

While it is true that there was a rabbinic tradition that Adam briefly had another wife before the creation of Eve (Genesis Rabbah), there is a great deal of doubt as to whether Lilith had any connection at all to this first wife of Adam story prior the publication of the Alphabet. The satirical nature of the Alphabet casts further doubt on the authenticity of this Lilith connection. [...] As a midrash, it also helps to solve a problem that arises from the fact that Genesis 1 has mankind created "male and female," but when we get to Genesis 2, Adam seems to be alone and in need of a partner.

There are other interesting details about Lilith (associations with feminism, vampires, baby-stealing) but the gist appears to be that the origins of Lilith as "Adam's wife" are directly traceable to a satirical piece that was clearly never intended to be part of the Holy Bible. The concept of Adam's pre-Eve wife does have some merit in the Genesis Rabbah but the stories are drastically different. From the same author as above (emphasis added):

Genesis Rabbah contains two references to a tradition that may be related to the Alphabet of Ben Sira, although probably not directly to Lilith. Here we find a much earlier example of the idea that Eve was Adam's second wife. But in this tradition the first woman is unnamed, and there is no reason to think that she should be identified with Lilith. In addition, the reason given for the failure of the first marriage is entirely different than that given in the Alphabet. Whereas Ben Sira has the problem center around sexuality and dominance, R. Judah b. Rabbi has Adam apparently disgusted by seeing the process of the woman being created "full of discharge and blood" (although this may instead be a reference to menses).

Based on this information, Lilith was never "meant" to be in the Bible and, therefore, could not have been written out. Even if the concept of Adam's pre-Eve wife were somehow excluded, that wife would not likely have been Lilith.

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    This account fully jibes with any reputable mention of Lilith I ever heard of, so I'm inclined to believe the gent knew what he was talking about. +1
    – user5341
    Commented Jun 9, 2011 at 23:14

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