Solomon’s Wise Judgment

Stanford Research Institute was studying the differences in vocational perceptions. They devised a short but succinct test. The first to be tested was an engineer. The researchers asked him: “What does two plus two make?” The engineer simply said, “In absolute … More


Solomon’s wisdom is put to the test. Two prostitutes, living in the same house, each had a baby three days apart. During the night one of the babies died and his mother exchanged the dead child for the living child. The next morning the other woman realized that the dead son was not hers but the guilty mother refused to admit her wrong doing.

Unable to settle their dispute, they went to the King. It was obvious that one of the women was lying, but which one?  Solomon, in his wisdom, ordered the baby to be cut in half and one half given to each woman. As he had anticipated, this order brought an immediate response from the real mother who quickly volunteered to let the other woman have the baby. When the other woman argued that the baby should be cut in two, it was evident that she had no compassion for the child and was not the real mother. Thus the dispute was resolved.

It is a precious truth to the Christian that God equips us for our calling. God made Solomon king, and God supplied all that he needed to serve acceptably. “Ask and it shall be given you.”1 To separate truth from falsehood is often difficult. Every situation is not clear cut. Solomon’s wisdom in this case became known throughout his kingdom so that he was admired as a wise administrator of justice.


God gave Solomon great wisdom as he settled this dispute between the two women. I have God’s wisdom available to me as I pray and request it, but, like Solomon I must put it into action. It is important that I always do what I know I should do.


I Kings 3:16-28 (English Standard Version)

Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. The one woman said, "Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. And this woman's son died in the night, because she lay on him. And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne." But the other woman said, "No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours." The first said, "No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine." Thus they spoke before the king. Then the king said, "The one says, 'This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead'; and the other says, 'No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.'" And the king said, "Bring me a sword." So a sword was brought before the king. And the king said, "Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other." Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, "Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death." But the other said, "He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him." Then the king answered and said, "Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother." And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

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