The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
3:1 - Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter and brought her into the city of David.
3:16-28 - Two prostitutes that lived in the same house came before Solomon. One woman told Solomon how they both lived in the same house. She had given birth and three days later the other woman gave birth and they were the only two in the house. The other woman laid on her son in the middle of the night and killed him. So she got up and took the son of the first woman and placed her dead son in the living son's place. The first woman knew the living son was hers, but the second insisted otherwise. They argued before the king. So Solomon called for a sword and said that the living son should be cut in half, a half to be given to each woman. The first woman said that the second woman could keep the son as long as he was not killed, for she had compassion for her son burning in her. The second woman said it shall be neither mine nor hers so divide him. Solomon declared the son not be cut in half and be given to the first women for she was clearly the boys real mother.
4:11 - "Ben-adinadah in all Naphath-dor (he had Taphath, Solomon's daughter as his wife)."
1 Kings 5: No mention of any women.
The infamous Solomon baby dividing story is finally here. I know that pretty much everyone knows this story in one form or another since it's a fairly classic "wise old dude" story. I find it interesting that the women are right off the bat identified as prostitutes. I guess since they apparently have no husbands and they have sex they can't be anything but prostitutes. Maybe I should find it interesting, the Bible needlessly points out prostitutes left and right so it's really just par for the course here.
I'm also not sure exactly how I learned the story originally. I remember there were two women fighting over one kid and Solomon threatened to kill the kid to find out who the real mother was. I don't think I ever heard about how one woman originally had a son, accidentally killed him in her sleep, and then proceeded to swap her dead son for her roommates living son. Somehow that just makes the story so much more morbid. And again, I have to say how bad I feel for the woman who lost her son. The Bible is very clear over and over and over again that a woman without a son is nothing. She is less that. She is a failure. So how can you blame the woman for what she did when she not only has no son now but she actually killed her only living son? I can't say I blame her. Maybe king Solomon, in all his God given wisdom, could have done something to help that woman? Maybe in his infinite wisdom he could do something to help better the lives of all the women in his nation?
Guess when God gave Solomon wisdom it couldn't actually be better than the wisdom God already had. Which as we've learned does not involve caring about the lives and happiness of half (or more) of the human population. Maybe God is incapable of making anything wiser than himself? Does that fall under the same category as "can God make a big so heavy he can't lift it" logic?
Either way, it's kind of crappy. But at least in the end justice was served in the trial and no woman was stoned to death. So, one step forward?
Monday: 1 Kings 6-7