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Lilith

Lilith

In Jewish mythology, Lilith was a female demon who killed newborn children in the night. She was associated with an ancient Babylonian demon called Lilitu, whose name often appeared in magical spells and incantations.

According to Jewish legend, Lilith was the original wife of Adam, the first man created by God. She often quarreled with Adam and eventually left him. God sent three angelsSenoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelofto find Lilith and bring her back. They found her at the Red Sea, where she was giving birth daily to numerous demons. When Lilith refused to return to Adam, God punished her by causing 100 of her children to die each day. He then created Eve to be Adam's companion.

incantation chant, often part of a magical formula or spell

annulet small object thought to have supernatural or magical powers

medieval relating to the Middle Ages in Europe, a period from about a.d. 500 to 1500

Furious at her punishment, Lilith began to kill the newborn babies of others. Parents could protect their children from her attacks by placing near the child an amulet bearing the names of the three angels sent to find her. Up to medieval times, Jewish people often kept amulets to ward off Lilith and her demon children, the lilim.

See also Adam and Eve; Angels; Devils and Demons; Semitic Mythology.

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Lilith

Lilith (lĬl´Ĭth), female demon of Jewish mythology, originally probably the Assyrian storm demon Lilitu. In Talmudic tradition many evil attributes were given to this supposedly nocturnal creature. In Jewish folklore she is a vampirelike child-killer and the symbol of sensual lust. Of the various legends connected with her, the one making her Adam's first wife is the strongest. Lilith appears in the Walpurgis Night section of Goethe's Faust and is discussed in Bernard Shaw's Back to Methuselah.

See L. Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, vol. V (repr. 1956).

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Lilith

Lilith. A female demon in Jewish mythology. Isaiah lists Lilith among the beasts of prey which will devastate the land (34. 14). According to a midrash, Lilith was the first Eve who disputed with Adam because she was unwilling to forgo her equality.

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Lilith

Lilith a female demon of Jewish folklore, who tries to kill newborn children. In the Talmud she is the first wife of Adam, dispossessed by Eve.

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Lilith

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