Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

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Adam clutches a child in the presence of the child-snatcher Lilith, by Filippino Lippi (1502) Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence (Public Domain)

Seeking Lilith, Adam’s Ex-Wife

Lilith was Adam’s first wife, and after a messy divorce, he married Eve, thus giving birth to the more commonly known Old Testament story of creation, featuring the famous Biblical characters Adam and Eve, who pranced around the Garden of Eden until they knew too much and angered God, having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, which is a metaphor for learning.  Having been coaxed by Lucifer, whose name etymologically means “bringer of knowledge” or “bringer of light,” they angered God and his subservient angels, as they had become like God himself; they had become divine, and God was concerned that they might become even more like him.  “And the Lord God said, now man has become like one of us, having knowledge of good and evil; and now if he puts out his hand and takes from the fruit of the Tree of Life, he will go on living forever” (Genesis 3:22). 

The Fall of Man showing the serpent in the Garden of Eden as a woman, by Cornelis van Haarlem (1592) (Public Domain)

The Fall of Man showing the serpent in the Garden of Eden as a woman, by Cornelis van Haarlem (1592) (Public Domain)

God continued, and he did something therapists tell humans to never do; he shouted at the two of them while he was still angry, telling Adam, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:17).  Then he yelled at Eve, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).  Then he turned to humankind’s teacher, the one who helped them to learn, and (in a sense) cursed all teachers from that point forward. 


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