This online version is an abridged compilation of the printed version of Fort Fairfield Journal, available in stores, now.  Pick up a copy, or subscribe for all the local & national news, FFMHS sports, obituaries, FFPD police log and more.


Fort Fairfield Journal Home Page

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.







By:  David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal

January 15, 2020



   When a person chooses to read only one particular narrative or translation of the texts contained in the Holy Bible they will often times be misled, or come up missing entire perspectives that were either unwittingly, or purposefully lost by the translators. The story of the lilith is one example of this. 

   In ancient Hebrew superstition, Lilith (or the lilith, depending on the narrative) was an elegantly dressed female that carried off children by night.  The text does not assert the existence of such objects or superstitions, but describes the place as one which superstition would people with such beings.1

   Lilith is a Hebrew word which means a demon in general, usually a female.  It has also been popularized as a proper noun in the form of the name of a female demon.

   “Lilith is the main female character in Jewish demonology from biblical times through the Middle Ages and the modern period.  Originally Lilith referred to a certain type of evil spirit; only in the Middle Ages was she identified as a specific demon, the first wife of Adam and consort of Samael.2

   The origins of the Lilith myth lie in ancient Babylonian demonology where the evil male spirit, Lilu and female spirit, Lilithu are found.  These spirits were alleged to seduce men and even rape them while they slept in order to spawn demonic children.  They were also alleged to be responsible for endangering women in childbirth.

   As Jewish culture assimilated those Babylonian myths in their early days,  stories and traditions began to form within Hebrew society.  The Jewish Talmud describes Lilith as a “winged creature  with long hair (Er. 100 b; Nid. 24b) who haunts people sleeping alone in their homes (Shab. 151 b).  The Talmud recounts that during the time that Adam lived separated from Eve, he gave birth to demon spirits, demons and liliths (Er. 18b).  According to later traditions, it was Lilith who seduced Adam and bore from him spirits and demons.”3

   The Dead Sea Scrolls also have a reference to the lilith.  In The Song of the Sage For Protection Against Evil Spirits, it is written;


“And I, the instructor, proclaim His glorious splendor so as to frighten and terrify all the spirits of the destroying angels, spirits of the bastards, demons, Lilith, howlers, and desert dwellers and those which fall upon men without warning to lead them astray…”4


   According to researcher, David Baker, KSJ a time came around the 4th to 6th century CE where bowls and amulets were employed for magical powers to fend off the liliths.  “...some Jews used ‘incantation bowls’ to trap and contain demons.  Some of these bowls were inscribed with references to Lilith.  They were buried upside down with the demons trapped inside...During the 8th and 10th centuries, amulets were placed around the necks of newborn males to protect them from Lilith until the day of their circumcision.  This should come as no surprise as Lilith was thought to make men impotent and women infertile, turn wine into vinegar, cause stillbirths and kill children.  And all this while causing males to ‘defile themselves’ with nocturnal emissions.  She was a busy girl!”5

   In the Book of Genesis, there are two different creation stories.  The first, at Gen. 1:26-27, where God concomitantly creates man and woman, seemingly as one entity of dual gender - a hermaphrodite.  Later, in Genesis 2:7-25 a different Creation story is told where Adam was made first, then later on came Eve.

   These two differing Creation accounts were then said to have inspired the idea that Adam had a first wife - his bodily counterpart in Genesis 1; then a second, Eve in Genesis 2.  A legend was then formed where Lilith was presumed to be his first wife.

   In the ninth or tenth century CE, a clever collection of Jewish legends entitled The Alphabet of Ben Sira drew on earlier stories of Adam’s wife, and of Adam’s coupling with demons, and spun an elaborate story in which Lilith is Adam’s first wife.   

   The story is as follows:


   When the first man, Adam, saw that he was alone, God made for him a woman like himself, from the earth.  God called her name Lilith, and brought her to Adam. They immediately began to quarrel. Adam said: “You lie beneath me.” And Lilith said: “You lie beneath me! We are both equal, for both of us are from the earth.” And they would not listen to one another.

   As soon as Lilith saw this, she uttered the Divine name and flew up into the air and fled. Adam began to pray before his Creator, saying: “Master of the universe, the woman that you gave me has fled.” God sent three angels and said to them: “Go bring back Lilith. If she wants to come, she shall come, and if she does not want to come, do not bring her against her will.

   The three angels went and found her in the sea at the place where the Egyptians were destined to drown. There they grabbed her and said to her: “If you will go with us, well and good, but if not, we will drown you in the sea.”

   Lilith said to them: “My friends, I know God only created me to weaken infants when they are eight days old. From the day a child is born until the eighth day, I have dominion over the child, and from the eighth day onward I have no dominion over him if he is a boy, but if a girl, I rule over her twelve days.”

   They said: “We won’t let you go until you accept upon yourself that each day one hundred of your children will die.” And she accepted it. That is why one hundred demons die every day. They would not leave her alone until she swore to them: “In any place that I see you or your names in an amulet, I will have no dominion over that child.” They left her. And she is Lilith, who weakens the children of men….


-Alphabet of Ben Sira 23a-b


   “Some believe that this story is a serious attempt to explain the death of infants, while others are convinced it is a humorous tale of sexual quarrels and unsuccessful angels. The Lilith of this story confronts both Adam and God: she defies patriarchy, refuses a submissive sexual posture, and in the end refuses marriage altogether, preferring to become a demon rather than live under Adam’s authority. Notice that Lilith flees to the Sea of Reeds: the place where the Hebrews will one day go free from slavery. In this version of the Lilith story, Lilith becomes what all tyrants fear: a person who is aware she is enslaved.”6

   Later, the Greeks adopted the lilim - the daughters of Lilith - and called them Lamiae, Empusae (Forcers-In), or Daughters of Hectate.  “Christians also adopted them and called them harlots of hell, or succubae, the female counterparts of incubi.  Celibate monks tried to fend them off by sleeping with their hands crossed over their genitals, clutching the crucifix.  It was said that every time a pious Christian had a wet dream, Lilith laughed.  Even if a male child laughed in his sleep, people said Lilith was fondling him.  To protect baby boys against her, chalk circles were drawn around cradles with the written names of the three angels God sent to fetch Lilith back to Adam - even though these angels proved incapable of dealing with her.  Some said men and babies should not be left alone in a house or Lilith might seize them.”7

  “Another common name for the Daughters of Lilith was ‘Night-Hag.’  This term didn’t imply that they were ugly; on the contrary, they were supposed to be very beautiful.  As with their brothers the incubi, they were presumed to be expert at lovemaking that after an experience with a Night-Hag, a man couldn’t be satisfied with the love of a mortal woman.”8

   Lilith appears once in the Holy Bible in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 34:14 where it is used as a common noun to describe demons in general, and the environment in which they live: 


“Wildcats shall meet hyenas, Goat-demons shall greet each other; There too the lilith shall repose and find herself a resting place.”9

- Isaiah 34:14,

The Jewish Study Bible


   The King James Version, as well as most modern English versions, of the Bible, however, covers over, ignores or sanitizes that name by mistranslating it as “screech owl.” 


“The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island, and the satyr shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest.”

- Isaiah 34:14

King James Version


   Upon closer examination of the texts of the Old Testament we find the KJV muddles and mistreats the translation of various Hebrew words into “owl” more than once.   Please allow me to digress. 


The KJV’s “Owl”

   The King James Version of the Holy Bible translates no less than five different Hebrew words from the original texts as “owl.”  However, contrary to fundamentalists who view the KJV as the final, complete and inerrant “Word of God,” three of those original Hebrew words have nothing to do with owls.

   The words KJV (and many other English and ‘authorized’ translations) renders as “owl” are the following Hebrew words:


בּת היענה (bath yahanaw)

(daughter of an) ostrich

Strong’s 1323 & 3284

   Leviticus 11:16

   Deuteronomy 14:15


כּוס (koce)

cup, container, unclean bird

Strong’s 3563

   Leviticus 11:17

   Deuteronomy 14:16

   Psalm 102:6


ינשׁוּף (yanshoof)

unclean bird, heron, great owl

Strong’s 3244

   Leviticus 11:17

   Isaiah 34:11


קפוץ (kippoz)

contract/spring forward, an

arrow snake

Strong’s 7091

   Isaiah 34:15


לילית (lilith)

night spectre, demon

Strong’s 3917

   Isaiah 34:14


  Here, we have five Hebrew words of differing meanings with only two referring to an owl, or type of owl.  Reading the KJV (as with most modern English translations) horizontally (side-by-side) with the original Hebrew texts we find the KJV deviates in places from the original texts it translates from.


Ref.                 KJV         Hebrew


Lev. 11:16      Owl         Ostrich

Lev. 11:17      Owl         Owl

Lev. 11:17      Owl         Owl

Deut 14:15     Owl         Ostrich

Deut 14:16     Owl         Owl

Deut 14:16     Owl         Owl

Psalm 102:6   Owl         Owl

Isaiah 34:11   Owl         Owl

Isaiah 34:14   Owl         lilith

Isaiah 34:15   Owl         arrow snake


   The Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew stories published around the second century, B.C.E., translates lilith in Isaiah 34:14 as “demons”, which is in harmony with the accepted Hebrew texts today.   The Catholic Bible comes close, too, by using the Greek rendition, “lamia.”11  The Revised English Bible renders lilith with a more confusing term, “nightjar.”12



  There is an ancient Sumerian carving of the goddess Inanna, who is a naked woman with bird’s feet and wings.  It has been suggested that this is a symbol of Lilith but further research into ancient Sumerian religious narratives reveals that could not be possible.

   Inanna’s story, told in the ancient Sumerian myth, The Descent of Inanna, nearly 4,000 years ago is that she descends to hell, is stripped naked, tried in a “kangaroo court”, stricken dead by a death spell and her naked corpse is hung from a hook and crucified.  Three days later, her followers came down and fed her the food of water and food of life and she resurrects and ascends to glory.10  In effect this makes her one of the first dying and resurrecting gods on the world stage over 2,000 years before Christ.

   It has also been pointed out that in the relief carving, Inanna is shown with a looped device in each hand.  As it turns out, this symbol, called the shen ring, was used in the ancient Egyptian religion to represent infinity and eternity; the holder of the shen ring had the power over everlasting life or immortality.13


   Lilith and the back story of the demons of ancient Hebraic lore is just one topic most contemporary Christians will never know about if they limit themselves to reading only the modern English versions of the Holy Bible.



1.) A Commentary, Critical, Experimental and Practical on the Old and New Testaments, Vol. III, ©1945 Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., p. 669

2.) The New Encyclopedia of Judaism, ©2002 G.G. The Jerusalem Publishing House, p. 478

3.) op cit.

4.) The Dead Sea Scrolls:  A New Translation, ©1996 Wise, Abegg Jr., & Cook, p. 415.

5.) Lilith: Adam’s First Wife, ©2014 David Baker KSJ, pp. 7-8.

6.) Rabbi Jill Hammer,

7.) The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, ©1983 Barbara G. Walker, p. 542

8.) op cit.

9.)  The Jewish Study Bible, ©2004 Oxford University Press, p. 851


11.) The Holy Bible/O.T. Douay-Challoner text, ©1950 The Catholic Press, Inc., p. 660

12.) The Revised English Bible, ©1989 Oxford University Press, p. 618



Find more about Weather in Fort Fairfield, ME
Click for weather forecast





Town and Country Advertising, from Scottsdale, Arizona is selling special events and holiday advertising packages in Fort Fairfield Journal.  To be included in these special feature ads, call 1-800-342-5299 or