Lilith in the Dead Sea Scrolls

By Alan Humm
Copied with Permission.

4QSongs of the Sage / 4QShir

4Q510 frag. 11.4-6a // frag. 10.1f

This passage is clearly based on Isaiah 34:14. There are two points of interest to us. The first is that the context makes it clear that the community that produced this saw the Isaiah passage as referring to the demonic rather than just desert animals (see the discussion on the meaning of the Isaiah passage). Second, if Martinez's translation is accurate (I have not yet looked at the plates), we have 'liliths' in the plural, rather than MT Isaiah's singular. Does the author have a different Isaiah reading with the plural, or is this just poetic license?

The translation is that of Florentino Garcia Martinez. The note(s) are mine.

      And I, the Sage,
      declare the grandeur of his radiance
      in order to frighten and terrify
      all the spirits of the ravaging angels
      and the bastard spirits,
      demons, Liliths, owls and [jackals...]
      and those who strike unexpectedly
      to lead astray the spirit of knowledge....