When God created Adam, he was lonely, so God created Lilith from the same dust from which Adam was molded. But they quarrelled; Adam [the proverbial domineering male] wished to rule over Lilith. But Lilith [a militant feminist] was also proud and willful, claiming equality with Adam because she was created from the same dust. She left Adam and fled the Garden. God sent three angels in pursuit of Lilith. They caught her and ordered her to return to Adam. She refused, and said that she would henceforth weaken and kill little children, infants and babes. The angels overpowered her, and she promised that if the mother hung an amulet over the baby bearing the names of the three angels, she would stay away from that home. So they let her go, and God created Eve to be Adam's mate [created from Adam's rib, so that she couldn't claim equality]. And ever since, Lilith flies around the world, howling her hatred of mankind through the night, and vowing vengeance because of the shabby treatment she had received from Adam. She is also called "The Howling One."
Here God fashions man and woman simultaneously when the text reads: “So God created mankind in the divine image, male and female God created them.”
The second account of Creation is known as the Yahwistic version and is found in Genesis 2. This is the version of Creation that most people are familiar with. God creates Adam, then places him in the Garden of Eden. Not long afterwards, God decides to make a companion for Adam and creates the animals of the land and sky to see if any of them are suitable partners for the man. God brings each animal to Adam, who names it before ultimately deciding that it is not a “suitable helper.” God then causes a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and while the man is sleeping God fashions Eve from his side. When Adam awakes he recognizes Eve as part of himself and accepts her as his companion.
Not surprisingly, the ancient rabbis noticed that two contradictory versions of Creation appear in the book of Genesis (which is called Bereisheet in Hebrew). They solved the discrepancy in two ways:
One was to explain that the first version of Creation actually referred to Adam’s first wife, a 'first Eve.' But Adam was displeased with her, so God replaced her with a 'second Eve' that met Adam's needs.
Another interpretation is that the Priestly account describes the creation of an androgyne – a creature that was both male and female (Genesis Rabbah 8:1, Leviticus Rabbah 14:1). This creature was then split into a man and a woman in the Yahwistic account. Learn more about this explanation in: What Was the Androgyne?
Although the tradition of two wives – two Eves – appears early on, this interpretation of Creation’s timeline was not associated with the character of Lilith until the medieval period, as we shall see in the next section.
The Alphabet of Ben Sira appears to combine legends of female demons with the idea of the 'first Eve.' What results is a story about Lilith, an assertive wife who rebelled against God and husband, was replaced by another woman, and was demonized in Jewish folklore as a dangerous killer of babies.
Later legends also characterize her as a beautiful woman who seduces men or copulates with them in their sleep (a succubus), then spawns demon children. According to some accounts, Lilith is the Queen of Demons.