King Solomon of Israel was known for his wisdom. But the Bible records only one instance where he uses his wisdom to give a fair judgment.
One day, two women came before the king, each insisting she was the true mother of one child. These two women lived together and both had just given birth. But one night, one of the women crushed her own child at night, then stole the other woman’s child and replaced it with her dead baby.
With no witnesses, there was no way to tell who was the true mother. But King Solomon used his wisdom to determine the truth.
“Let’s get the facts straight. Both of you claim the living child is yours, and each says that the dead one belongs to the other. Alright, bring me a sword.”
So his soldiers brought King Solomon a sword.
Then he said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other!”
At this, the true mother cried out, “Oh no, my lord! Give her the child—please do not kill him!”
The child’s mother preferred to lose the child to the other woman than to see him die. Through this, his wisdom led King Solomon to know who was the true mother.
“Do not kill the child, but given him to the woman who wants him to live, for she is his mother!”
To administer justice, King Solomon used the wisdom received from God to reveal the true essence of maternal love. The true mother had compassion for her son and her maternal love brought him back to her.