16 Later, two women who were prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 17One woman said, Please, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together; there was no one else with us in the house, only the two of us were in the house. 19Then this womans son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your servant slept. She laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead; but when I looked at him closely in the morning, clearly it was not the son I had borne. 22But the other woman said, No, the living son is mine, and the dead son is yours. The first said, No, the dead son is yours, and the living son is mine. So they argued before the king.
23 Then the king said, One says, This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead; while the other says, Not so! Your son is dead, and my son is the living one. 24So the king said, Bring me a sword, and they brought a sword before the king. 25The king said, Divide the living boy in two; then give half to one, and half to the other. 26But the woman whose son was alive said to the kingbecause compassion for her son burned within herPlease, my lord, give her the living boy; certainly do not kill him! The other said, It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it. 27Then the king responded: Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother. 28All Israel heard of the judgement 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 execute justice.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011