Kabbala: Lilith as God's Consort

In this striking passage we see Lilith becoming the consort of God! This resulting from God's regular consort, the Matronit, being in exile. While they are apart, the Matronit is abused by the left emanations (bad guys) while Lilith takes her place at God's side. Keep in mind here that 'God' in this context refers to one of the emanations of God, not the absolute (Ein Sof). Of course, it would be tempting to combine this with the 'Adam's first wife' streams of the tradition, leaving us with a story in which Lilith is at first rejected by Adam only to be elevated to be the mate of God himself. I suspect, however, that these stories come from different places and cannot be justifiably combined.

Zohar 3:69a

One day the companions were walking with Rabbi Shim'on bar Yohai. Rabbi Shim'on said: "We see that all these nations have risen, and Israel is lower than all of them. Why is this? Because the King [God] sent away the Matronit from Him, and took the slave woman [Lilith] in her place. Who is this slave woman? The Alien Crown, whose firstborn the Holy One, blessed be He, killed in Egypt. At first she sat behind the handmill, and now this slave woman inherited the place of her mistress." And Rabbi Shim'on wept and said: "The King without the Matronit is not called king. The King who adhered to the slave woman, to the handmaid of the Matronit, where is his honor? He lost the Matronit and attached Himself to the place which is called slave woman. This slave woman was destined to rule over the Holy Land of below, as the Matronit formerly ruled over it. But the Holy One, blessed be He, will ultimately bring back the Matronit to her place as before. And then, what will be the rejoicing? Say, the rejoicing of the King and the rejoicing of the Matronit. The rejoicing of the King because He will return to her and separate from the slave woman, and the rejoicing of the Matronit, because she will return to couple with the King. (Patai81:468)


Return to Lilith Page
© Copyright 1995-2011 Alan Humm.
Comments and corrections: