3:16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. 3:17 One of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was with me in the house. 3:18 Then three days after I had my baby, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one else in the house except the two of us. 3:19 This woman’s child suffocated during the night when she rolled on top of him. 3:20 She got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your servant was sleeping. She put him in her arms, and put her dead son in my arms. 3:21 I got up in the morning to nurse my son, and there he was, dead! But when I examined him carefully in the morning, I realized it was not my baby.” 3:22 The other woman said, “No! My son is alive; your son is dead!” But the first woman replied, “No, your son is dead; my son is alive.” Each presented her case before the king.
3:23 The king said, “One says, ‘My son is alive; your son is dead,’ while the other says, ‘No, your son is dead; my son is alive.’” 3:24 The king ordered, “Get me a sword!” So they placed a sword before the king. 3:25 The king then said, “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one and half to the other!” 3:26 The real mother spoke up to the king, for her motherly instincts were aroused. She said, “My master, give her the living child! Whatever you do, don’t kill him!” But the other woman said, “Neither one of us will have him! Let them cut him in two!” 3:27 The king responded, “Give the first woman the living child; don’t kill him. She is the mother.” 3:28 When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected the king, for they realized that he possessed supernatural wisdom to make judicial decisions.