King Solomon carefully studied the two women standing before him. His lingering silence thickened the air, already charged with emotion.
During the night, two mothers and two infants who had been sharing the same room experienced the unthinkable; one baby was accidentally smothered. Now both moms, with deep anguish and tears, stood before the king, loudly insisting that the living child is her baby.
Solomon must decide, but without the benefit of DNA evidence, CSI reports or collaborating witness testimony. Only the two mothers possess firsthand knowledge of what really happened during the night. One of them obviously was lying.
Solomon prayed silently, "Give me wisdom, Lord."
The answer was there in precisely the moment he asked the question; almost imperceptibly it filled his heart and his mind. His words were deliberate and his tone even as he spoke.
"Bring me a sword," he said. "Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other."
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Suddenly, one of the women screamed a deafening wail.
Crying, she said, "No! I can't bear the thought of my child cut into two pieces. Give her the baby." Falling to her knees she pleaded to the king, "Whatever you do, don't kill him."
While the other woman sneered at her, "If I can't have him, you can't have him. Cut away!"
Solomon immediately recognized which woman was the real mother. Only a mother's genuine love would surrender her baby to another woman rather than see any harm done to the child.