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1 Kings 3:16-28Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Solomon’s Wisdom

16 Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17 One woman said, “Please my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, she also had a baby and we were alone. No one else[a] was with us in the house; just the two of us were there. 19 During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. 20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your servant was asleep. She laid him at her breast, and she put her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I discovered he was dead. That morning, when I looked closely at him I realized that he was not the son I gave birth to.”

22 “No,” the other woman said. “My son is the living one; your son is the dead one.”

The first woman said, “No, your son is the dead one; my son is the living one.” So they argued before the king.

23 The king replied, “This woman says, ‘This is my son who is alive, and your son is dead,’ but that woman says, ‘No, your son is dead, and my son is alive.’” 24 The king continued, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought the sword to the king. 25 Solomon said, “Cut the living boy in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

26 The woman whose son was alive spoke to the king because she felt great compassion[b] for her son. “My lord, give her the living baby,” she said, “but please don’t have him killed!”

But the other one said, “He will not be mine or yours. Cut him in two!”

27 The king responded, “Give the living baby to the first woman, and don’t kill him. She is his mother.” 28 All Israel heard about the judgment the king had given, and they stood in awe of the king because they saw that God’s wisdom was in him to carry out justice.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 3:18 Lit No stranger
  2. 1 Kings 3:26 Lit because her compassion grew hot

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