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16 Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him. 17 And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. 18 And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house. 19 And this woman’s child died in the night; because she overlaid it. 20 And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I had considered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which I did bear. 22 And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king. 23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living. 24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. 26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. 27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof. 28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment.

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Solomon’s Wise Judgment

16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and (A)stood before him. 17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; [a]no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”

And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.”

Thus they spoke before the king.

23 And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ ” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”

26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for (B)she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!”

But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.

27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the (C)wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 3:18 Lit. no stranger

Solomon Wisely Judges

16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Pardon me, my lord: [a]this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child [b]while she was in the house. 18 And it happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 Then this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant was asleep, and she laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead! But when I examined him closely in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne!” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But [c]the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” So they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “[d]The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and [e]the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 But the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for [f](A)she was deeply stirred over her son, and she said, “Pardon me, my lord! Give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other woman was saying, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; cut him!” 27 Then the king replied, “Give [g]the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard about the judgment which the king had [h]handed down, they feared the king, because (B)they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to [i]administer justice.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 3:17 Lit I and this woman
  2. 1 Kings 3:17 Lit with her in
  3. 1 Kings 3:22 Lit this one was saying
  4. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  5. 1 Kings 3:23 Lit this one
  6. 1 Kings 3:26 Lit her compassion grew hot
  7. 1 Kings 3:27 Lit her the living
  8. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit judged
  9. 1 Kings 3:28 Lit do