In The Testament of Solomon, a magical text attributed to the wizard king and dated between the second century BCE and the second century CE, a spirit identifying herself as Obizuth appears to King Solomon. “I am a fierce spirit of myriad names and shapes,” she tells him. Obizuth explains that she is nocturnal and travels around the world searching for women in childbirth so she can strangle their babies.
She identifies the spirit that controls and defeats her (essentially her antidote) as Afarol, another name for Raphael. Obizuth promises to cause no harm wherever she sees his name. Raphael may also be directly invoked to protect against her. The name Afarol was once popularly engraved on amulets worn by women and children.
The Testament of Solomon describes Obizuth as being in darkness although her glance is bright and cheerful. She tosses her long, loose hair wildly.
Although she may be a distinct spirit, Obizuth is generally considered to be Lilith, operating under one of her myriad names. If so, The Testament of Solomon contains the oldest known written reference to Lilith as baby slayer.
- Solomon, King
- Umm es Subyan
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.