Some say the God created man and woman in His own image on the Sixth Day, giving them charge over the world, but that Eve did not yet exist. Now, God had set Adam to name every beast, bird and other living thing. 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 coupling with each female creature 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. 
God then formed Lilith, the first woman, just as He had formed Adam, except that he used filth and sediment instead of pure dust. From Adam's union with this demoness, and with another like her named Naamah, Tubal Cain's sister, sprang Asmodeus and innumerable demons that still plague mankind. Many generations later, Lilith and Naamah came to Solomon's judgement seat, disguised as harlots of Jerusalem. 
Adam and Lilith never found peace together, for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent position 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.
Adam complained to God: "I have been deserted by my helpmeet." God at once sent the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof to fetch Lilith back. They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore 'lilim' at the rate of more than one hundred a day. "Return to Adam without delay," the angels said, "or we will drown you!" Lilith asked: "How can I return to Adam and live like an honest housewife, after my stay beside the Red Sea?" "It will be death to refuse!" they answered. "How can I die," Lilith asked again, "when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day. None the less, if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it." To this they agreed; but God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily;  and if she could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own. 
Some say that Lilith ruled as queen in Zmargad, and again in Sheba; and was the demoness who destroyed Job's sons.  Yet she escaped the curse of death which overtook Adam, since they had parted long before the Fall. Lilith and Naamah not only strangle infants but also seduce dreaming men, and one of whom, sleeping alone, may become their victim. 
 Divergences between the Creation myths of Genesis I and II, which allow Lilith to be presumed as Adam's first mate, result from a careless weaving together of an early Judean and a late priestly tradition. The older version contains the rib incident. Lilith typifies the Anath-worshipping Canaanite women, who were permitted pre-nuptial promiscuity. Time after time the prophets denounced Israelite women for following Canaanite practices; at first, apparently, with the priests' approval -- since their habit of dedicating to God the fees thus earned is expressly forbidden in Deuteronomy XXIII:18. Lilith's flight to the Red Sea recalls the ancient Hebrew view that water attracts demons. "Tortured and rebellious demons" also found safe harbourage in Egypt. Thus Asmodeus, who had strangled Sarah's first six husbands, fled "to the uttermost parts of Egypt" (Tobit VIII:3), when Tobias burned the heart and liver of a fish on their wedding night.
 Lilith's bargain with the angels has its ritual counterpart in an apotropaic rite once performed in many Jewish communities. To protect the newborn child against Lilith --and especially a male, until he could be permanently safeguarded by circumcision-- a ring was drawn with natron, or charcoal, on the wall of the birthroom, and inside it were written the words: "Adam and Eve. Out, Lilith!" Also the names Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof (meanings uncertain) were inscribed on the door. If Lilith nevertheless succeeded in approaching the child and fondling him, he would laugh in his sleep. To avert danger, it was held wise to strike the sleeping child's lips with one finger -- whereupon Lilith would vanish.
 'Lilith' is usually derived from the Babylonian-Assyrian word 'lilitu,' 'a female demon, or wind-spirit' -- one of a triad mentioned in Babylonian spells. But she appears earlier as 'Lillake' on a 2000 BC Sumerian tablet from Ur containing the tale of Gilgamesh and the Willow Tree. There she is a demoness dwelling in the trunk of a willow tree tended by the Goddess Inanna (Anath) on the banks of the Euphrates. Popular Hebrew etymology seems to have derived 'Lilith' from 'layil,' 'night'; and she therefore often appears as a hairy night-monster, as she also does in Arabian folklore. Solomon suspected the Queen of Sheba of being Lilith, because she had hairy legs. His judgement on the two harlots is recorded in 1 Kings III:16. According to Isaiah XXXIV:14-15, Lilith dwells among the desolate ruins in the Edomite Desert where satyrs ("se'ir"), reems, pelicans, owls, jackals, ostriches, arrow-snakes and kites keep her company.
 Lilith's children are called 'lilim.' In the Targum Yerushalmi, the priestly blessing of Numbers VI:26 becomes: "The Lord bless thee in all thy doings, and preserve thee from the Lilim!" The fourth-century AD commentator Hieronymous identified Lilith with the Greek Lamia, a Libyan queen deserted by Zeus, whom his wife Hera robbed of her children. She took revenge by robbing other women of theirs.
 The Lamiae, who seduced sleeping men, sucked their blood and ate their flesh, as Lilith and her fellow-demonesses did, were also known as 'Empusae,' 'forcers-in'; or 'Mormolyceia,' 'frightening wolves'; and described as 'Children of Hecate.' A Hellenistic relief shows a naked Lamia straddling a traveller asleep on his back. It is characteristic of civilizations where women are treated as chattels that they must adopt the recumbent posture during intercourse, which Lilith refused. That Greek witches who worshipped Hecate favoured the superior posture, we know from Apuleius; and it occurs in early Sumerian representations of the sexual act, though not in the Hittite. Malinowski writes that Melanesian girls ridicule what they call 'the missionary position,' which demands that they should lie passive and recumbent.
 'Naamah,' 'pleasant,' is explained as meaning that 'the demoness sang pleasant songs to idols.' 'Zmargad' suggests 'smaragdos,' the semi-precious aquamarine; and may therefore be her submarine dwelling. A demon named Smaragos occurs in the Homeric Epigrams.