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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: Lilith

DEFINITION:
In medieval Jewish legend, the first wife of Adam, who insisted on being treated as an equal and was therefore put aside and replaced by Eve. Her origin is uncertain; some sources claim that she was created by God along with Adam, while others identify her as a demon from the beginning. After her separation from Adam, however, she became the mate of Samael and a demon who delighted in killing newborn infants and pregnant women.

The first reference to Lilith is in the Alphabet of Ben Sira, a Hebrew folktale dating from the tenth century. She may, however, descend from the Lilitu, who were female demons in Babylonian mythology. The angels Senoi, Sensenoi, and Semangelaph were invoked to drive her away from women in childbirth and from newborn infants.

Lilith later played a role in Cabalistic symbolism as the Qlippoth of Malkuth, the tenth sphere of the Tree of Life.
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