Woman Scorned

Not many people are aware that Eve was not the first mate to Adam.

First Adam got jiggy with the various beasts, birds, and other living things that Yahweh paraded before him. As Robert Graves and Raphael Patai record in Hebrew Myths:

When they passed before him in pairs, male and female, Adam—being already like a twenty-year-old man—felt jealous of their loves, and though he tried copulating with each female in turn, found no satisfaction in the act. He therefore cried: “Every creature but I has a proper mate!”, and prayed God would remedy this injustice.

Yahweh then presented Adam with Lilith, a human female. A being run up from the same sort of dust from which Adam was created. Rather than yanked from Adam’s own flesh as a rib, as was, later, Eve.

Adam, however, proved a boor, and Lilith left him. Graves and Patai recount what happened:

Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded. “Why must I lie beneath you?” she asked. “I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.” Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him.

As Lilith was not around or involved when Adam and Eve consumed the forbidden fruit, she was not subject to the penalties inflicted by Yahweh upon the rest of the human race: death, the pain of labor, enmity between wo/man and nature. Some say Lilith lives to this day in the Edomite Desert, among satyrs, pelicans, owls, ostriches, arrow-snakes, and unicorns.


13 Responses to “Woman Scorned”

  1. 1 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    I’ve always loved the Lilith story. It’s one of those things that you tell your friends (and sometimes teachers) in middle and high school and have them not believe you until they’ve looked it up. So much fun.

    I imagine Lilith is still out there. I hope she isn’t lonely. She seems like a pretty self-secure lady, though.

    I love the story of Adam and the animals. I wish I’d known THAT one in junior high.

    The one I always wondered about was where Cain got his wife from. Supposedly he picked her up from “The Land of Nod”, which is interesting, since their origins aren’t mentioned in the bible. Well, not in any version of the bible I’e seen. Makes me wonder if these Nod people had an original sin problem too, or if Cain just burdened his poor wife with it. And what happened to the other Nodians? Were they maybe the children of Lilith? That would be interesting.

    Wasn’t Lilith a pre-Judaism Hebrew deity who they just couldn’t bear to fully part with, kind of like Saint/Goddess Brigid of Ireland?

    • 2 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 3:22 am

      Cain’s wife, obviously, was one of his sisters, or some other close female relative. This is what is meant by “traditional family values.”

      Pre-Yahweh Hebrews worshipped goddesses. Lilith is believed to be a relict of these scorned women. Or she may reference a deity in the Canaanite pantheon.

      I don’t know if Lilith is lonely. You could ask her. ; )

      • 3 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 3:33 pm

        But what was Cain’s sister doing in the Land of Nod, a place presumably populated only by the offspring of Adam and Eve? Not much of a “land” then, really.

        These are the kind of questions that got me kicked out of cathechism.

        • 4 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm

          When Adam and Eve were done, there were a lot of people on the earth—more than live in some small towns today. So it makes sense that at least one of them strayed into Cain territory.

          After Abel was killed, Adam feared that another son born to Eve and himself might suffer the same fate, so he abstained from sex with Eve for, uh, 130 years. During that time, succubu bore demons to Adam while he slept, while incubi fathered demons on the sleeping Eve.

          This is what happens when people stifle their lusts: demons. : /

          Yahweh eventually got sick of all these demons spouting from the sex-deprived Adam and Eve, so he ordered Adam to “do the right thing.” Adam did so, and Seth was the result.

          Adam then unaccountably returned to celibacy, until after seven years Yahweh again ordered him back into the bedroom. Eve then produced thirty sets of twins, always one male and one female. This was spread out over a fairly long period of time, as Adam lived 800 years after Seth was born.

          After producing these 63 children, Eve went into retirement. Antonin Scalia has attempted to force his wife to best Eve’s record, but thus far she has churned out only 9.

  2. 5 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Is that really in Hebrew lore? The incubi/succubi thing?

    I do remember getting caught up for a couple hours at your house in an Elaine Pagels book containing some Adam & Eve stories that didn’t make it into the bible. I recall one about how God finally granted to Adam freedom from lust, but refused to free Eve, because she was a bad woman and had to be punished (I’m paraphrasing).

    63, huh? I swear I remember hearing years ago about a woman (In Russia, I think) who had 65. Must have been a hoax, though, because Google is silent on the subject.

    • 6 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm

      I am pulling all this learnedness from the Graves book, which in turn drew it from various Hebrew texts. I’ll get you a copy of the Graves for Christmas.

      Have I not bought you Pagels books? I know I meant to. If I didn’t, let me know, and I’ll get you a set of those for Christmas, too.

      • 7 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

        You let me borrow them for a while, during which time I tended to thumb through and just read certain passages. I’ve never had a set. You don’t have to get them for me, but I’d certainly like them. David and I both regretted having to return them before we moved. The Graves book sounds very interesting, too. Isn’t he the one who wrote “Freddy’s Book”?

        • 8 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm

          I only let you borrow them? What a freaking Grinch. : / I’ll buy you a set for Christmas. Including the ones I don’t have. ; )

          John Gardner wrote Freddy’s Book. Graves also wrote The White Goddess. I’m sure I must have forced that on you when I was your “teacher.”

  3. 9 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Well, you let me borrow them for more than two years! I could have read them during that time but I was distracted by things like new Harry Potter books and such. So you’re not a Grinch. But I am so happy to hear there are more that I don’t know about!

    You never assigned me “The White Goddess” but I have heard of it. I remember seeing it on your shelves, too. There are so many titles that will forever be stuck in my head, thoroughly removed from whatever they are about, because they made up the walls of the house and I saw them every day when I was there. Other titles I recall, but know not what they mean, are “Janus”, “Make Way For Lucia”, “The Crimson Petal And The White”, “The Golden Bowl”….

    I just Wikipedia’d “The White Goddess” and it does sound like something I’d like. Though Wikipedia says it is not necessarily true, as there is “no direct evidence of a White Goddess”. That’s just the naysayers, right?

    I loved what you assigned me though, even if sometimes I had a hard time getting through it all (I’ve never been able to read as fast as you, unfortunately). And I’ve never thanked you properly for assigning me “Wuthering Heights”. It’s one of my all-time favorites and probably what turned me into a goth. 🙂

    • 10 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      It’s a good idea to be extra-special careful with wiki entries that touch in any way on religion or mysticism. Last time I looked, for instance, the wiki entry on tarot claimed that it was derived from playing cards, when precisely the opposite is true. There is a clot of Christians that regularly raids the wiki entry on the Library at Alexandria to try to expunge Christian responsibility for its destruction. There is, in truth, more “direct evidence” of the existence of a white goddess than there is of Jesus Christ. So somebody’s sabotaged the Graves entry, too.

      My rule with wikipedia is that I never believe anything that is stated on a wiki page. If I click on one of the links provided by the wiki page, and it takes me somewhere that seems reputable, then I believe. Not before.

      The little wiki entry on the ghost town where I used to live, as an example, contains, between the wiki entry and the sole source it links to, 13 separate errors. ; )

      Janus is a book of essays by Arthur Koestler. Make Way For Lucia is a fun collection of frivolous novels set in Victorian/Edwardian England. The Golden Bowl is heavy-going Henry James. The Crimson Petal and the White is a “mad wife in the attic” slice of Victorian England.

      I’ll get you a White Goddess for Christmas, too. That you borrowed the Pagels for two years makes more sense, because I remember wanting to go to them on a couple of occasions, and not being able to find them. Eventually I assumed they were buried somewhere amid the boxes and closets and bags and towers. : /

      I read slower now that I’m old. Probably you’re faster than me now.

  4. 11 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Well, when I was doing research on my Ostara essay I found evidence at least of widespread Goddess worship in Europe. So I figured there was some sabotage going on. I need to break my Wiki addiction. It’s just so convenient, though. Is there a decent Wikipedia replacement that is convenient and also doesn’t lie? Or is such a thing merely a dream?

    I’m sorry you were unable to reference your Pagels when need be. “Mad Wife In The Attic” sounds like a good name for a band.

    Poor Ghost town. I’ve never thought to look it up. I tried to view it on Google Earth once, though, and it wasn’t there. I should have known, since years earlier I’d trued simply to look up the WEATHER there and been unsuccessful. So expecting a Google Earth image was probably of a stretch.

    • 12 bluenred September 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm

      I use wiki. It’s a good place to start. I just verify the information that is set forth there before I use it. The assertions in wiki entries are supposed to be backed up by links. If you go to the link, and it seems right, you’re good to go. If you go to the link and it smells, or if there is no link at all, then you back off and look elsewhere. That’s my method, anyway.

      Wiki’s political entries have problems, too. I check in every six months or so on this amusing back-channel battle that’s been going on in wiki for years based on something I wrote. The Wiki Potentates continuously reject the stuff, even though It’s All true. I mention this a little here.

      I called up the old ghost-town house on google earth a couple times. I just entered the “street address,” such as it was.

  5. 13 Julia Rain (the daughter) September 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Ah-ha! I found it! Someone was jet-skiing in the lake when the image was taken.

    Your wiki guidelines sound good. I’ll have to read the post you linked to because wiki people fighting over something you wrote sounds wildly entertaining.

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