Prostitutes Who Forced Solomon to Split the Baby

During the reign of King Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, two women known as harlots came before him in a dispute over which one of them was the rightful mother of a child. The two women lived alone in the same house and had given birth within three days of each other. One of the women told the king that the other woman's child died during the night, because the mother had rolled over on it. The mother of the dead infant then switched the babies, so that in the morning she had a living son.

The harlot's complaint proved to be a most difficult test of Solomon's abilities. Solomon had previously dreamed of God coming to him and asking him what he desired, to which Solomon answered “an understanding heart to judge thy people” (1 Kings 3:9). Before him were two mothers — one of them was the mother of the living child, the other was a liar. Solomon asked for a sword.

And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. Then spake the woman whose living child was unto the king…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, but divide it. (1 Kings 3:25'26)

It was clear to Solomon that the true mother of the child couldn't bear to see harm come to her infant, so was willing to let the other woman have it. To her, Solomon gave the child. The Scriptures do not mention what, if anything, was done to the woman who lied. King Solomon must have known that she had suffered the loss of her child, and perhaps considered that her pain drove her to such a heartless act.

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