Illustration Showing THE JUDGMENT OF SOLOMON, from The Bible (Old Testament) - drawing by Gustave Dore - 037th.jpg (37K)

Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king,and stood before him.

And the one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell inone house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.And it came to pass the third day after that I was delivered,that this woman was delivered also: and we were together; therewas no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.And this woman's child died in the night; because she overlaidit. And she arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me,while thine handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laidher dead child in my bosom. And when I rose in the morning togive my child suck, behold, it was dead: but when I hadconsidered it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, which Idid bear.

And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, andthe dead is thy son.

And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and, the living ismy son.

Thus they spake before the king.

Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth,and thy son is the dead—and the other saith, Nay; but thy son isthe dead, and my son is the living. And the king said, Bring me asword.

And they brought a sword before the king.

And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and givehalf to the one, and half to the other.

Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king,for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord,give her the living child, and in no wise slay it.

But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, butdivide it.

Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child,and in no wise slay it she is the mother thereof.

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king hadjudged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom ofGod was in him, to do judgment. 1 Kings iii, 16-28.

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