One day as the king of Israel was walking along the wall of the city, a woman called to him, “Help, my lord the king!” “If the Lord doesn’t help you, what can I do?” he retorted. “I have neither food nor wine to give you. However, what’s the matter?” She replied, “This woman proposed that we eat my son one day and her son the next. So we boiled my son and ate him, but the next day when I said, ‘Kill your son so we can eat him,’ she hid him.” When the king heard this he tore his clothes. (The people watching noticed through the rip he tore in them that he was wearing an inner robe made of sackcloth next to his flesh.)
The king continued, “Tell me your story.” She said, “This woman came to me and said, ‘Give up your son and we’ll have him for today’s supper; tomorrow we’ll eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I told her, ‘Your turn—bring your son so we can have him for supper.’ But she had hidden her son away.”
And the king said to her, What wilt thou that I do to thee? (What wilt thou that I do for thee?) And she answered, This woman said to me, Give thy son, that we eat him today, and we shall eat my son tomorrow.
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