“Then the king said, ‘Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.’ When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.”

– 1 Kings 3:27,28

One of my favorite stories about Solomon’s wisdom is an account of two young mothers. As king, he was often called upon to hear cases between disputing parties. One day, two women, who the Bible describes as harlots, came before him. Both of them had given birth within three days of each other and lived in the same house — there was no one else under their roof. When one of the mothers fell asleep during the night and accidentally smothered her child, she took her friend’s baby from her breast and put the dead baby in its place. In the morning, the mother of the living child awoke to find her baby not breathing, but upon closer examination, she realized that it was not her child but rather that of her roommate. When the roommate denied it, the two women went before the king to let him make a determination. After he had heard their case, Solomon ordered that a large sword be brought to him and he told both women that he was going to cut the living baby in two so they could each have half. As gruesome as this sounds, it was intended to make a point. The first woman spoke up and said, “Give her the living child, but by no means kill him.” The other woman said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” At that point, Solomon knew exactly who the mother was — the one who wanted the child to live! He ordered that the baby be spared and given to his mother and the whole country was amazed at his justice. 

I don’t know about you, but this story always “wows” me and makes me aspire to wisdom like Solomon. Beyond the facts, he recognized that actions and emotions play a role in determining truth, and he was willing to go to great measures to find it. Like him, I encourage you to be an earnest seeker of justice and remember that finding and walking in the truth is always a pursuit worth your passion! 


Jesus, thank you for the example of King Solomon. I aspire to a just heart and mind like his.


What do you learn from the story of King Solomon and the two women?

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