Leader Resource 3: The Judgment of Solomon

Narrator: Now the guard brought two women to King Solomon. They stood before him.

Guard: These women bring a dispute before you, my Lord.

First Woman: My Lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me. 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.

Second Woman: But the night after my baby was born, her baby died. And now she is saying I took her baby.

First Woman: Yes! Her baby died in the night and she switched him for my baby.

Second Woman: In the morning, she found her baby dead, and now she wants to take mine! Don't let her take my baby, my Lord.

First Woman: When I got up to nurse my son, he was dead! But when I looked closely at him in the morning light, I saw it was not my son who was dead. It was hers.

Second Woman: The living one is my son. The dead one is yours.

First Woman: No! The dead child is yours. The living one is mine.

Solomon: Hold! You each say the same: My son is alive and your son is dead.

[Solomon turns to Guard.]

Solomon: Bring me a sword.

Narrator: So they brought a sword for the king.

[Guard holds out the sword.]

Guard: And now, my Lord?

Narrator: King Solomon then gave an order.

Solomon: Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.

[Guard turns toward the baby and raises the sword.}

First Woman: Oh, wait! Please, my Lord, give her the living baby! Don't kill him!

Second Woman: Neither you nor I shall have him. Cut him in two!

[Guard again raises the sword.}

Solomon: Guard, stop! Do not kill the child. Give the living baby to the woman who wished him spared. She is his mother.

Narrator: When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw King Solomon had wisdom from God to administer justice.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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