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Lilith

Lilith

The ostrich made at least one appearance in the Old Testament by way of ancient mythology. According to a Hebrew myth, which was derived from the Sumerians, God created a woman named Lilith before He created Eve. Instead of fashioning her from one of Adam's ribs, or molding her from dust as He did with Adam, God created Lilith from filth and sediment. By some accounts, Lilith was part human and part beast. Not surprisingly, she turned out to be a difficult creature to live with, and her history with Adam was short and unhappy. If you're interested in the details, see Hebrew Myths by Robert Graves and Rafael Patai. And for more than you probably want to know about Lilith, check out The Lilith Shrine, an electronic tribute by a modern-day admirer.

But to get to the point, the book of Isaiah (XXXIV) mentions a certain "hag," which Graves and Patai assume refers to Lilith, who dwelt among the ruins of Edom among satyrs, re'ems, porcupines, owls, jackals, arrow-snakes, kites, and -- are you ready for this? -- ostriches. It is not said whether she ate ostrich meat.

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Posted June, 1996.
© Copyright 1996 OBS