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Lilis

or Lilith (Rabbinical mythology). The Talmudists say that Adam had a wife before Eve, whose name was Lilis. Refusing to submit to Adam, she left Paradise for a region of the air. She still haunts the night as a spectre, and is especially hostile to new-born infants. Some superstitious Jews still put in the chamber occupied by their wife four coins, with labels on which the names of Adam and Eve are inscribed, with the words, “Avaunt thee, Lilith!” &Goethe; has introduced her in his Faust. (See Lamia.)

It was Lilith, the wife of Adam ...
Not a drop of her blood was human,
But she was made like a soft sweet woman.

D. G. Rossetti: Eden Bower.

The fable of Lilis or Lilith was invented to reconcile Gen. i. with Gen. ii. Genesis i. represents the simultaneous creation of man and woman out of the earth; but Genesis ii. represents that Adam was alone, and Eve was made out of a rib and was given to Adam as a helpmeet for him.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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