Lilith

LILITH lĭl’ ĭth (לִּילִ֔ית). A Heb. word found only in Isaiah 34:14 (KJV SCREECH OWL, ASV NIGHT MONSTER, RSV NIGHT HAG), in a passage describing the terrible desolation that will befall Edom. The prophet mentions a number of real and imaginary creatures that in the popular imagination are thought to inhabit waste solitudes. Lilith appears to be a creation of Babylonian demonology. She plays a great part in Talmudic demonology, in which she is described as a child-stealing witch and also as Adam’s wife before the creation of Eve, becoming the mother of demons. It must not be assumed that the prophet himself believed in the existence of Lilith. More likely, in a highly imaginative passage in which he describes the awful desolation of Edom, he simply mentions some creatures, real and unreal, which in the popular imagination are said to inhabit unpeopled solitudes.

See also

  • Night-monster