"Lilith" appears not to translate very well from Isaiah 34:14. What would the original language(s) indicate?


Isaiah 34:14 Berean Study Bible

The desert creatures will meet with hyenas, and one wild goat will call to another. There the night creature [H3917 liyliyth] will settle and find her place of repose.


לִילִית noun feminine Lilith (Milton Che night-hag), name of a female night-demon haunting desolate Edom; probably borrowed from Babylonian, Isaiah 34:14

This Hebrew word appears only once in the whole Bible. However, it does appear elsewhere.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

wild cats or hyenas shall meet wolves. The nouns that follow belong, apparently, to the region of mythical zoology. The English "satyr" expresses fairly enough the idea of a "demon-brute" haunting the waste places of the palaces of Edom, while the "screech-owl" is the Lilith, the she-vampire, who appears in the legends of the Talmud as having been Adam's first wife, who left him and was turned into a demon. With the later Jews, Lilith, as sucking the blood of children, was the bugbear of the nursery. Night-vampire would, perhaps, be the best rendering.

I'd take this with a grain of salt as it is an extra-biblical legend.

  • This is very interesting, and it suggests that John Collier was way off Biblical track when he painted Lilith. I now see he married into Huxley's daughters and he is an outspoken atheist. What you have found also suggests that I should not be looking in Revelation for the end of Lilith. – Youvan Apr 10 at 18:19
  • Right. I try to stick to the words as much as possible. At the same time, I don't mind people over-interpreting either so long as they knew that they are. – Tony Chan Apr 10 at 18:24
  • Another good, simple answer. +1 – Dottard Apr 10 at 22:30

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