16 One day two women[a] came to King Solomon, 17 and one of them said:
Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18 and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.
19 One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died. 20 Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.
21 In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn’t my son.
22 “No!” the other woman shouted. “He was your son. My baby is alive!”
“The dead baby is yours,” the first woman yelled. “Mine is alive!”
They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23 until finally he said, “Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24 Someone bring me a sword.”
A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25 “Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him.”
26 “Please don’t kill my son,” the baby’s mother screamed. “Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don’t kill him.”
The other woman shouted, “Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby.”
27 Solomon said, “Don’t kill the baby.” Then he pointed to the first woman, “She is his real mother. Give the baby to her.”
28 Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.
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