Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Legend of Lilith By Sabine Baring-Gould 1871

The Legend of Lilith By Sabine Baring-Gould 1871

That Eve was Adam's second wife was a common Rabbinic speculation; certain of the commentators on Genesis having adopted this view to account for the double account of the creation of woman in the sacred text,—first in Genesis i. 27, and secondly in Genesis ii. 18; and they say that Adam's first wife was named Lilith, but she was expelled from Eden, and after her expulsion Eve was created.

Abraham Ecchellensis gives the following account of Lilith, and her doings:—"There are some who do not regard spectres as simple devils, but suppose them to be of a mixed nature, part demoniacal, part human, and to have had their origin from Lilith, Adam's first wife, by Eblis, the prince of the devils. This fable has been transmitted to the Arabs from Jewish sources, by some converts of Mahomet from Cabbalism and Rabbinism, who have transferred all the Jewish fooleries to the Arabs. They gave to Adam a wife, formed of clay, along with Adam, and called her Lilith; resting on the Scripture, 'male and female created He them:' [Abraham Ecchellensis. Hist. Arabum, p. 268] but when this woman, on account of her simultaneous creation with him, became proud and a vexation to her husband, God expelled her from Paradise, and then said, is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.' And this they confirm by the words of Adam when he saw the woman fashioned from his rib, 'This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh" which is as much as to say, Now God has given me a wife and companion, suitable for me, taken from my bone and flesh, but the other wife he gave me was not of my bone and flesh, and therefore was not a suitable companion and wife for me.

"But Lilith, after she was expelled from Paradise, is said to have married the Devil, by whom she had children, who are called Jins. These were endued with six qualities, of which they share three with men, and three with devils. Like men, they generate in their own likeness, eat food, and die. Like devils, they are winged, and they fly where they list with great velocity; they are invisible, and they can pass through solid substances without injuring them. This race of Jins is supposed to be less noxious to men, and indeed to live in some familiarity and friendship with them, as in part sharers of their nature. The author of the history and acts of Alexander of Macedon relates, that in a certain region of India, on certain hours of the day, the young Jins assume a human form, and appear openly and play games with the native children of human parents quite familiarly."

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