A sword gets the truth, Solomon’s Wise Ruling

1 Kings 3:16-28. Solomon uses a sword to get the truth out of two women.

There were women, each claiming that the same baby was hers.

God had given Solomon wisdom to administer justice.

Who would have thought that by threatening to kill the baby the truth would come out?

Background Reading:

Solomon’s Wisdom is Tested and A Wise Ruling

3:16 Right about then, two prostitutes approached the king and requested an audience with him. 17 One woman said, “Your majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 Three days later, this woman also gave birth. We lived alone there. There was nobody else with us in the house. It was just the two of us. 19 This woman’s son died overnight because she laid on top of him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night, took my son from me while your servant was asleep, and laid him to her breast after laying her dead son next to me. 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son, and he was dead. But when I examined him carefully in the light of day, he turned out not to be my son whom I had borne!”

22 “Not so,” claimed the other woman. “The living child is my son, and the dead one is yours.”

But the first woman said, “Not so! The dead child is your son and the living one is my son.” This is what they testified before the king.

23 The king said, “One of them claims, ‘This living son is mine, and your son is the dead one’ and the other claims ‘No. Your son is the dead one and my son is the living one.’ 24 “Somebody get me a sword.” So they brought a sword to the king. 25 “Divide the living child in two!” he ordered. “Give half to the one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose child was still alive cried out to the king, because her heart yearned for her son. “Oh no, your majesty!” she said. “Give her the living child. Please don’t kill him.”

But the other woman said, “Cut him in half! That way, he’ll belong to neither one of us.”

27 The king announced his decision: “Give the living child to the first woman. Don’t kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When this decision that the king had handed down was announced, everybody in Israel was amazed at the king, because they all saw that God’s wisdom was in him, enabling him to administer justice.
1 Kings 3:16-28

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