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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Lilith

Adam’s first wife prior to Eve according to Kabbalistic allegory. The origin of this legend about Adam’s first wife is due to two contradictory accounts of the creation of woman in the Old Testament. In the first account (Gen. 1:27-28), God created male and female on the sixth day of creation.

1:27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

1:28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Then later in the next chapter (2:20-23), it states that Adam had no one to help him and hence a woman was created out of his ribs, and he called her Eve. The second creation is the popular one, but most people are unaware of the account of the first creation of women, which raises the question of what happened to that first woman before Eve. This gave rise to the legend of Lilith.

In Jewish myth, Lilith did not agree to be subservient to Adam and left the Garden of Eden. The offsprings of Lilith became demons or monsters. This story is found in a medieval work between 7th and 11th century CE entitled the The Alphabet of Ben-Sira. Earlier, in the Talmud, Lilith as a demon is likewise mentioned.

According to Helena P. Blavatsky, Lilith alludes to the female beasts who mated with late third root race and early fourth root race human beings, resulting in the apes. Thus, too, she says, the tradition about satyrs were not fables, and were also due to these unions. Some of them “will become speaking animals (or men of a lower order) in the Fifth Round, while the adepts of a certain school hope that some of the Egos of the apes of a higher intelligence will reappear at the close of the Sixth Root-race” (SD II:262).

The Secret Doctrine states that Lilith or Lilatu is described in the Talmud “as a charming woman, with long wavy hair, i.e., a female hairy animal of a character now unknown, still a female animal, who in the Kabalistic and Talmudic allegories is called the female reflection of Samael, Samael-Lilith, or man-animal united, a being called Hayo Bischat, the Beast or Evil Beast (Zohar)” (SD II:262).

V.H.C.

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