The Judgment of Solomon - (1 Kings 3:16-28)

The Judgment of Solomon - (1 Kings 3:16-28)

The books of Kings, contained in the Old Testament, present the history of the most prominent men who ruled over the kingdom of Judea. From the very first king, Saul, to the last, Zedekiah, the Bible reports their good and bad actions during the time of their reigns. Among these kings was Solomon, one of the best-known because of his wisdom and wealth. Indeed, from the time of his reign, it is written: “The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills.” (1 Kings 10:27) King Solomon, responsible for establishing justice and peace in his territory, handed down numerous judgments, one of which still inspires thought. Let us discover this judgment of Solomon which reveals the wisdom he received from God.

The story of Solomon in the book of Kings

6 Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.

 17 One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me.

 18 The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

 19 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.

 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.

 21 The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

 22 The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

 23 The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ”

 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.

 25 He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

 26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

 27 Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

 28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

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King Solomon or the wisdom of God expressed

When we read this story, we admire this wisdom and can think of all kinds of situations where it would be useful to us. The Bible tells us that it is an answer to Solomon’s prayer. Indeed, while he was sleeping, God came to see him and said to him: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”  (1 Kings 3:5) and Solomon asked for a wise heart, capable of discerning good and evil. God loved his request and granted it, and then some. Did God not also say to us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)? And saint even said again: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5). God's wisdom is a gift that we must not be afraid or ashamed to ask for.