Zillah married a man who already had a wife. His name was Lamech. It was the first recorded account of polygamy.
The name Lamech means powerful. Zillah means shady or shadows. Did she provide comfort like a cool shade on a hot summer day, or did she lurk in the shadows or dark places? Perhaps she got caught in the shadow of Lamech’s first wife, Adah.
Not only was Lamech a polygamist, he also murdered a man and wrote a poem to brag about the killing.
Zillah’s son Tubal-Cain was “an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron.” (Genesis 4:22 NKJV) He’s credited as being the first blacksmith and the founder of metalworking.
Some commentators believe that Lamech used metal weapons to kill the man, and he was bragging about it because he was able to do so thanks to his talented and enterprising son. Whether this is true or not, we don’t know, but Tubal-Cain’s development of metalwork revolutionized society.
Zillah also had a daughter. Her name was Naamah, which means beauty or pleasant.
Many Bible scholars believe that Tubal-Cain was later known as Vulcan who was worshiped by pagans as the god of fire and metalworking. Some speculate that Naamah was the Venus of the heathens.
By wordly standards, Zillah led a successful life. She was married to a powerful man (even if she did have to share him with another woman). Her son was recognized as an influential leader of great eminence, and her daughter was praised for her beauty. But we have no evidence of Zillah having a relationship with God.
We may convince ourselves that worldly success is enough, but without God in our lives, all that we accomplish is in vain.
Zillah in the Bible: Genesis 4:19-23