Is there any other information available on Adah and Tzillah, who are mentioned briefly in Bereshit chapter 4? Were they positive or negative role models?
Would it be appropriate to give one's daughter the name Adah or Tzillah?
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Before the Mabul, men would marry two women: one to have children and one to satisfy their desires. Adah was the one Lamech married to have children, and Tzilah was the one he married for pleasure (Rashi to Bereishis 4:19, from Bereishis Rabbah 23:2; Yerushalmi Yevamos 37b has it vice versa).
Adah and Tzilah refused to submit to Lamech. According to Rashi (ibid. v. 23), this was after Lamech accidentally killed Kayin, and according to Bereishis Rabbah (ibid. §4), this was because they knew the Mabul was coming. Either way, their concern was that they would have children who would be killed; Lamech responded, “You do your part, and Hashem will do His.”
And...that’s it. As far as I can tell, that’s literally all we know about them. Whether they’re positive or negative role models I suppose is up to the reader, but the Midrash seems to imply that Lamech was correct here, vis a vis “you do your part.”