While every culture around the world seems to have a legend or two about their very own soul sucking she-demon, the most famous succubus of the Western world would have to be Lilith. In extra-biblical Jewish legends Lilith was said to have been the original wife of Adam, made not only at the same time as him but also completely equal to him.
According to the Alphabet of Ben Sira, Adam wanted a wife that was sexually subservient but Lilith refused, wanting a turn in the dominant sexual position. When they couldn’t find a way to agree Lilith decided to pack her bags and go, invoking God’s name and flying away. God then sent three angels after her demanding that they bring her back to her husband by force if necessary, but when they found her by the Red Sea she dug in her heels and they were unable to get her to bend to their wishes even when they threatened to drown her in the sea and murder her children if she refused.
Of course she wouldn’t want to go back. Why would she when apperantly she had been having a grand time at the beach having crazy sex with demons and giving birth day after day to hundreds of demonic babies? She had no plans to give up her new carefree lifestyle and told the angels that it was her new mission in life to harm newborn children. Then quite randomly the legend says that Lilith promised to not harm any babies if they are protected by an amulet bearing the names of the three angels. This seems to be Ben Sira’s way of tieing the creation story of the “first Eve” in Genisis into the Sumerian myths about female vampires named “Lillu” or Mesopotamian myths about female nights demons called “lilin”, which is also the name given to Lilith’s demon offspring. Even though Lilith is mentioned four times in the Babylonian Talmud it is not until Ben Sira’s Alphabet that Lilith is associated with the first creation story sometime around 800-900 CE.
So now what we have is a story about an assertive wife that refuses to bow down to the whims of men and for her actions is replaced by another more pliable woman and is demonized as a savage baby killer in Jewish folklore.
I feel like I watched a movie with this premis a little while ago, now what was it called… The First Wives’ Club?