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#331    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 04:53 AM

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The bible does say that God made man then made woman for man to have company with. Let's just say Adam was getting a little tired of watching the monkeys and wanted some for himself. Woman was made for that reason.


   Ummm, Saucy, this could not be further from the truth.  When you read the text of Genesis 1-2 you in no way see that Eve was created merely to gratify Adam's sexual appetites!  Interestingly, it is God's idea to create Eve!  Adam didn't ask God for her.  

   But let's back up a little.  In Genesis ch 1, vv 26-28, we see that it is God's idea to create the man and the woman in His image--both of them in His image.  The "in His image" part is very interesting when you look at competing Near Eastern creation motifs.  Ever see a totem pole?  In many cultures a totem pole represents the god(s) who runs the show in a particular region or area (hence the engravings on them).  But in Genesis we see that God's totem pole--ambassador--for Himself is humanity--male and female equally.    And we have every indication that Adam and Eve were both given power to care for God's creation.  

   In Genesis ch 2, the circumstances by which Eve's creation came about tell us something of God's purposes.  In Genesis ch 2, v 18, it is God who ponders that is not good that Adam is alone.  Think of how profound this is!  In Genesis ch 1, God's creation of something is punctuated with the divine blessing, "And it was good!"  What we see in Genesis 2.18 is that the first thing that isn't good about the world is that Eve is not in it!

   So next we would expect for God to hook Adam up with a woman, right?  Wrong.  There's this strange episode where God brings to Adam the animals to see what he might name them.  Why? Well, I speculate on what this must have looked like:  God brings the animals to Adam two by two.  Adam begins to ponder, "Y'know, there's two of everything here except for me!"  This is corroborated by what the writer tells us of Adam's musings as he named the animals: "But for Adam no suitable helpmate could be found."  This word for "helpmate/helper" in Hebrew is something like "isha" or "ishi".  In the Old Testament, this word is sometimes used of God Himself.  Alone, the word carries no connotation of inferiority or subjugation.  More importantly, God does not create Adam until Adam realizes (while naming the animals) that he had need of her.  

   So far, what we see is that  1) Eve's creation is initiated by God, not Adam; 2) God's creation of Eve is accomplished so that the fullness of God's image can be expressed in the earth; without Eve, God's imaging of Himself is incomplete; 3) From Genesis ch 1 we see that Eve is to join Adam in the human vocation: To exercise some control over and to care for God's world and to be fruitful and multiply, thus filling the earth; 4) God was unwilling to create Eve until Adam realized his need for her during the animal-naming enterprise.  

   In order to create Eve, God takes from Adam's rib.  This is significant for two reasons.  First, Eve is a part of Adam, every bit as human as he is.  To love her is as natural as loving himself.  To despise or harm her is the equivalent of harming himself.  Second, Eve is taken from Adam's side, symbolically communicating that she is not above him, nor below him, but that she walks alongside him and he alongside her.  Adam's appreciation of Eve is evident in v 23, which is written in Hebrew poetry (the rest of the passage is in prose); he has someone who is "bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh".  

   Bearing all this in mind, Eve is not created merely to gratify Adam's sexual appetite.  Eve is a full partner with Adam in bearing the image of God to the created world; taking care of said world; and participating in God's creative work through sex and reproduction.  
  

    

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#332    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:15 AM

Actually, Eve was created as a replacement for Lilith, who was Adam's first spouse. The reason why she was created is because Lilith didn't agree to be Adam's "sidekick" and wouldn't stand for Adam's or God's treatment of her. So she rebelled and said to God she would rather spawn devils than live under Adam's yoke. She was henceforth cast out of Eden and changed into demon.

Then God produced Eve, and we all know what happened next.



#333    Chauncy

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:19 AM

I wonder what happened to Lilith, howcome she's not in the beginning of the book?
This seems odd....where did they put her account? ohmy.gif  

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#334    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:25 AM

Edited out, lost or become obscured. I can't remember Lilith being included in any of the OT writings except maybe at some later stage when she was a fully fledged demon.

However, there are copoius references to Lilith both in the Kabbala and in other ancient writings in Sumeria etc.

Here's all the Yahoo listings on Lilith.....

Lilith

Take your pick grin2.gif

Edited by Ozmeister, 30 May 2004 - 05:31 AM.


#335    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:27 AM

QUOTE
Actually, Eve was created as a replacement for Lilith, who was Adam's first spouse. The reason why she was created is because Lilith didn't agree to be Adam's "sidekick" and wouldn't stand for Adam's or God's treatment of her. So she rebelled and said to God she would rather spawn devils than live under Adam's yoke. She was henceforth cast out of Eden and changed into demon.

Then God produced Eve, and we all know what happened next.


  Ozmeister,

       I'm interested in a few things concerning Lilith.  

       First, do you know where the Lilith story comes from?  Many or my Wiccan/pagan friends talk about it, but none of them can draw a bead on where it comes from.  Do you know?

       Second, let's assume that Lilith was Adam's first wife and that Eve was the replacement (as the story goes).  It would stand to reason, then, that we should be able to spot in the Genesis story ways in which God "domesticated" (for lack of a better word) the woman so as to prevent another female, independent-thinking rebellion.  How does Genesis 1-2 reflect such a modification to the female personhood?  Can we compare Lilith to Eve to understand how Eve was God's update on women to ensure that there would be no more like Lilith?

       A note: I referred only to Genesis 1-2  because in Genesis 3 things go crazy concerning male-female relationships due to Adam and Eve's rebellion against God.  Any disfunctionality between Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 is not a part of God's original intent.  

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#336    bathory

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:35 AM

Stuff on Lilith




#337    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:39 AM


  Bathory,

       Thanks, I've read one over-view on Lilith at the site you provided.  It was quite helpful.

  

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

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#338    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:42 AM

Probably the earliest references to Lilith can be found in ancient Sumerian and Babylonian texts (notably, The Epic of Gilgamesh). In these texts, she is depicted as a rather voluptuous woman with the feet of a screech owl.

She also appeared in a rather controversial medieval book "The Alphabet of ben Sirah".....which was risque to say the least.

God "domesticated" woman by producing Eve from the rib of Adam.....Lilith was made from the same dust as Adam, and therefore was his equal in every right. The making of Eve from Adam's rib made her subordinate to Adam. When Lilith told Adam where to get off, he asked God to send three angels after her to try and convince her to come back. She told them where to go and stood her ground, so God cursed her and she fled Eden.

Lilith is associated with Succubi......female demons who take the sperm from men during the night through (a rather nasty version of) sex. She also attacks newborns, according to legend.





#339    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:52 AM

QUOTE
God "domesticated" woman by producing Eve from the rib of Adam.....Lilith was made from the same dust as Adam, and therefore was his equal in every right. The making of Eve from Adam's rib made her subordinate to Adam.


   Why would creating Eve from Adam's rib make make the Eve subordinate?  Why would creating Lilith from the same ground as Adam make Lilith equal?  A difference in creation ought not automatically imply inferiority any more than a similarity in creation implies equality.  

   To be fair, the stuff I said in a few posts ago about Eve's equality being in view due the fact that she's created from Adam's rib doesn't automatically imply equality.  However, in the Genesis text Adam and Eve are given the same rights, privileges and responsibilities by God.  Regardless of what substance--the earth or flesh--Adam and Eve were created from, surely their equal share in representing God in the earth and living out their human vocation to take care of and fill the earth does point to equality.

Edited by trublvr, 30 May 2004 - 05:53 AM.

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#340    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:00 AM

It's a case of origin......having been made of the same substance as Adam, Lilith was of equal stature as he was. They were both made of dust. Eve, having been made from a part of Adam, was seen as being of lesser stature than Adam because she was made from only that part of Adam, and not from the same dust as he was.




#341    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:07 AM

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It's a case of origin......having been made of the same substance as Adam, Lilith was of equal stature as he was. They were both made of dust. Eve, having been made from a part of Adam, was seen as being of lesser stature than Adam because she was made from only that part of Adam, and not from the same dust as he was.


   I understand what you are describing, but I don't understand the interpretation.  Why does same substance = equal stature?  Why does different substance = unequal stature?  Nowhere in the Genesis account are we given the impression that coming from the earth somehow affords one a better lot than does coming from another person.  In fact, Adam's very statement about Eve being "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" suggests that he veiwed her as an equal partner, which God gently prodded him to look for.  

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#342    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:16 AM

The interpretation is based on the other ancient sources other than the Bible (as the Bible only mentions her once or twice). Go here and have a read.....

Lilith and Adam



#343    Chauncy

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:43 AM

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Why would creating Eve from Adam's rib make make the Eve subordinate?


The implied notion here is that only 'man' was created in the exact image of god, Eve then appears to have been chosen/created second. Why did God not create them both at the exact same time? Why was Adams rib necessary first in order to make Eve?



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#344    Ozmeister

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:50 AM

Well, I'm off....catch you guys later grin2.gif



#345    trublvr

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 07:15 AM

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Lilith, like Adam, had been created from the dust (Adamah) of the earth. But as soon as she had joined Adam they began to quarrel, each refusing to be subservient and Submissive to the other. "I am your lord and master," spoke Adam, "and it is your duty to obey me." But Lilith replied: "We are both equal, for we are both issued from dust (Adamah), and I will not be submissive to you." And thus they quarrelled and none would give in. And when Lilith saw this she spoke the Ineffable Name of the Creator and soared up into the air. Thereupon Adam stood in prayer before the Creator and thus he spake: " O Lord of the Universe, the woman Thou hast given me has fled from me."


   Ozmeister,

        Thanks for more site info.  The quote above is a partial quote from the Lilith story.  I think the story makes my point for me.  If we compare Lilith to Eve, something interesting emerges.  Lilith draws her equal status from the fact that she was created from the dust as Adamah was.  In the biblical account, Eve's equality stems from the fact that she is made in the image of the same God with the same purpose and vocation as Adam.  In fact, Eve has no need to assert her equality because it is God-given, implied in her very creation.  The fact that she's made from Adam's rib in no way jeopardizes the fact that she is made in God's own image just as Adam was.  Adam never disputes this.   Adam simply rejoices in Eve's commonality with him as a fellow human being, origins not withstanding.  The origin that seems to matter most in the Genesis account is that they both have God as their Creator.  

       Ironically, it seems that the Lilith story was created by some Jewish men to encourage Jewish women to be submissive (or else God and some angels would do something weird to them!).  Whoever the story's creators are, the Lilith story gives us no positive portrayal of how male-female relationships are supposed to work.  The sense of the ideal is not present.  Sure, in Genesis ch 3 things go awry; but Genesis 1-2 serve as guides as to the way human beings--male and female--were meant to interact with one another.  Though the world is fallen, we can still do this (it's just harder, that's all, like rowing against a powerful current).  

      In regards to this, Jewish feminist Ruth Greenberg said it best: "Freedom is not the ability of the ex-slave to be just as tyrannical as the former master.  Freedom is the ablility of men and women to operate equally in the confines of a common morality."  I see this embodied in the Genesis text, whereas it is sorely lacking in the Lilith story.  
          

If truth is not a matter of majority vote, neither is it a matter of minority dissent.        

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