Why Lilith Hasn’t Been Portrayed as a Strong Woman
The legend of Lilith was one of the most controversial conspiracies of the ancient era, and it continues to divide the global population in modern times. Descriptions of Lilith range from the demonic to the holy, but either way she is alleged to be one of the oldest documented female spirits. Lilith has been referenced in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Bible, and the Talmud. As per some Christian lore, Lilith was the first woman that God created—except she was fabricated from filth and residue rather than pure dust. The name Lilith has also been said to mean “’the night,” but it has also been associated with spirituality, sensuality, and freedom.
Virtually all feminists argue against the validity of references to Lilith in classical Judaism. They feel that too often vague points are made based on soft “evidence,” and also that numerous facts are continually taken out of context (especially historical context). According to the bible, the origin of the world is explained in Genesis: man was created in God’s image, and God creates woman from Adam’s rib. The woman in question is almost always portrayed as being Eve, but much has been written about Lilith (or Lilit) being Adam’s first wife.
It is said that Adam rejected Lilith because she was smarter, stronger, and more steadfast than he was. This point is even more significant than it initially seems, because Lilith would have been a blasphemous symbol for womanhood as far as the church was concerned; women were meant to be submissive to men, and lower than men in terms of hierarchy. This could be why the story that God created man and woman at the same time has been stricken from virtually all versions of Biblical texts.
For example, pay attention to the differences between the following traditional Biblical text and modern Biblical texts which you have been exposed to: Genesis 1:27 King James Version (NKJV); “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This passage suggests that Lilith was created as Adam’s equal, which would not have been acceptable to the church at all. As per the apocryphal texts (which have been edited by the Catholic Church), Lilith had a strong character and superior intelligence, while Adam possessed carnal desires.
What’s more, it has been written that Adam was furious when Lilith desired equality during coitus, and it has also been said that God banished Lilith at Adam’s request: “Why should I lie beneath you? He asked: I was also made with dust, and therefore I am your equal. . . . As Adan tried to force her to obey, Lilith, angry, pronounced the name of God and left.” It is thought by some that Lilith had no other choice but to turn toward the devil since she had been rejected by all other beings.
Allegedly, Lilith went to the demon Samael which incurred even more of God’s wrath: “She liked the man’s reproductive liquid very much, and she always walks to the point of seeing where she has fallen. All the liquid of man that does not end in the matrix of the wife is hers: all the seminal liquid that man finds wasted throughout his life, whether by adultery, by vice or in sleep.” Lilith’s offspring were said to be damned from that moment onward.
However, it is written that this gave Adam and God the opportunity to remake the “first” woman: she was to be made from Adam own rib, and because of this it was thought that Eve would be closely submissive to his desires. Of course, this also allows all the blame to be placed on Eve for eating forbidden fruit and ruining paradise for humanity forever.
Traditional ideologies concerning seduction, pleasure, and equality have plagued both religion and humankind ever since these philosophies were first envisioned and enforced. Hopefully awareness of Lilith—and all that she represents—spreads far and wide, and inspires women around the world to not just demand equality and empowerment, but to take it.