In Jewish mythology, Lilith was a female demon who killed newborn children in the night. She was associated with an ancient Babylonian demon called Lilitu, whose name often appeared in magical spells and incantations.
According to Jewish legend, Lilith was the original wife of Adam, the first man created by God. She often quarreled with Adam and eventually left him. God sent three angels—Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof—to find Lilith and bring her back. They found her at the Red Sea, where she was giving birth daily to numerous demons. When Lilith refused to return to Adam, God punished her by causing 100 of her children to die each day. He then created Eve to be Adam's companion.
incantation chant, often part of a magical formula or spell
annulet small object thought to have supernatural or magical powers
medieval relating to the Middle Ages in Europe, a period from about A . D . 500 to 1500
Furious at her punishment, Lilith began to kill the newborn babies of others. Parents could protect their children from her attacks by placing near the child an amulet bearing the names of the three angels sent to find her. Up to medieval times, Jewish people often kept amulets to ward off Lilith and her demon children, the lilim.