Bible Answer

Who is Lilith?

Who is Lilith? How is she related to Adam?

Lilith is simply a fictional character brought on by ancient Babylonian tales. During the Middle-ages some rabbinical literature depicted her as the first wife of Adam and attributed Genesis 1 to a woman called Lilith, while Eve is the wife of Adam in Genesis 3, suggesting there are two different creation accounts in Genesis. However, this is not the correct interpretation of Genesis.

The only mention in the original Hebrew Bible of the word  lîlît (Lilith) is in Isaiah 34:

IS.34:14 The desert creatures will meet with the wolves,
The goat also will cry to its kind.
Yes, the night-bird will settle there
And will find herself a resting place.

Night-Bird in Hebrew is translated, lîlît; definition being a night spectre:—screech owl, with female nuances. Through legends this word began to take on the image of a female demon who devoured children, ruled over men, and was filled with evil. 

When translating the Bible some english translators lack confidence in their knowledge of Babylonian demonology, therefore, they add the word Lilith as though it was a name. The King James Bible’s rendition of the scripture translates “the lilith” as “the screech owl,” recalling the menacing bird-like qualities of the Babylonian she-demon. The Revised Standard Version observes the nocturnal habits and tags this creature “the night hag” instead of “the lilith.”

The Hebrew text and its best translations employ the word “lilith” as "screech-owl," as seen in the Isaiah passage above and should not be mistaken for an actual she-demon that lurks the land as the legends depicts.

Throughout the Book of Isaiah, the prophet encourages God’s people to avoid entanglements with people from other cultures and regions who worship foreign deities as Lilith, thus why the Prophet uses this familiar vernacular in his writings. As one might notice, Isaiah doesn't define or expound on lîlît, therefore, we must conclude that Isaiah assumed his readers were familiar with this legend that circulated over generations and used her as an example to warn those in God's hand. 

Throughout many generations, folktales throughout Europe have carried a fascination with the fictional character Lilith and over the centuries have attracted the attention of some of Europe’s well known artists and writers. While today we see this continue through writers like C.S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia by creating the White Witch (daughter of Lilith who bore her image); The writers of The Chosen, the popular gospel series, decided to insert a demon possessed woman in their series that bears the name Lilith; and many feminist movements choose to be represented by the popular female mythical creature.

With a careful understanding that all humanity has total depravity, centuries ago and today, we are able to reconcile why people pursue worship (or partaking in) of created things over the Creator, and can simply turn our attention to God's Word to address this human phenomenon:

ROM. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
ROM. 1:19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
ROM. 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
ROM. 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened.
ROM. 1:22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
ROM. 1:23 and they exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible mankind, of birds, four-footed animals, and crawling creatures.
ROM. 1:24 Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
ROM. 1:25 For they exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
ROM 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature,
ROM. 1:27 and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
ROM 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper,
ROM. 1:29 people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips,
ROM. 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
ROM. 1:31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful;
ROM. 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.