Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges : A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades
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Leader Resource 3: The Judgment of Solomon

Adapted from Hebrew scripture, 1 Kings 3:16-28.

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.