This Week's Story

A choice between two babies requires extraordinary wisdom from Solomon.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Who is the mother?

It was not just a dream.  No!  God spoke to Solomon in this dream.  “Solomon, what do you want?  Ask, and I will give it to you.”

Solomon replied, “I do not know how to be king of Israel.  I’m like a child crawling, not yet able to walk.  Please give me knowledge and understanding.”

“Solomon, your request makes me happy. Because, you ask for wisdom, you shall have it with honor and wealth.”

Solomon became known as the wisest king in the Middle East!  His business enterprises were vast and his literary accomplishments many!

Into his judgment hall one day walked two women.  One walked confidently with an infant in her arms. The other approached hesitantly.  The court councilor announced, “King Solomon, the next case concerns two prostitutes, Miriam and Deborah, and a baby.  Each woman claims to be the baby’s mother.  Will you judge which woman is the mother?”

The king looked at the two women and asked the fearful one, “Miriam, why do you believe that this infant is yours?”

“Oh king, Deborah and I live in the same house.  I gave birth to a boy, and she did so three days later. That same night her little one died.  We were alone in the house.  As I slept, she put her dead baby beside me and took my child.  When I awoke this morning to nurse my wee one, he was gone.  Instead a dead infant lay beside me.

"I want my child.  I love him!  You know Deborah and I are prostitutes.  My family has rejected me.  We are condemned by our neighbors. But I have a right to my child.  Please, may I have my baby?”

“Deborah, what is your story?”

“Miriam is lying.  Our babies look similar.  Each has curly brown hair, brown eyes, and a pudgy face.  But mine has a birthmark on his left heel, as she knows.  The dead child is hers.”

“Deborah lies.  She knows that it is my baby with a birthmark on his heel.  She must have killed her child by rolling on him as she slept.  Now she has stolen mine.”

“O king, Miriam wants to deceive you.”

King Solomon spoke strongly, “Cease your dispute.  No more accusations!”

He called to his guard, “Caleb, bring me a sword.  If each woman insists on her story and there are no witnesses, then this baby will be divided in half.”

Miriam ran to Solomon, her fearfulness replaced with a mother’s desperation, “O king, may Deborah have the child.  Please do not kill him.”

Deborah spoke calmly, “Your decision is fair, O King.  I agree; he should be cut in half.”

Then King Solomon stood.  “This is my judgment.  Give the child to Miriam.  She is the rightful mother. Her willingness to give up her child to prevent his death has revealed her love and the truth.  The child is not to be divided by sword.”

Throughout Israel people heard and spoke of the king’s decisions.  They recognized the great wisdom that Solomon had from God.  Ambassadors crowded his courts to observe his leadership. The Queen of Sheba travelled 1200 miles to visit Solomon.  She came with many difficult questions.

Finally she exclaimed, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true!  I didn’t believe it until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes.  The Lord your God is great indeed!”

This is Barbara Steiner marveling at King Solomon’s understanding of a mother’s love.

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