1 Kings 3:16-28View Full Chapter
A Wise Ruling 16Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me.
18The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. 19“During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.
21The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
22The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
23The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ” 24Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.
25He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
26The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
27Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.” 28When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.