Two women came before King Solomon. The first woman said to him: “My Lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I gave birth to a child and a few days later, she gave birth too. No one else lives with us, only the two of us were there. This woman’s son died during the night, and she arose and took my son from my arms while I slept, leaving her dead son in his place. When I awoke, I believed my son was dead, but when I observed him later on I realised he was not the one to whom I had given birth.”
The second woman responded: “It is not so! It is my son who lives and yours who died!”
The first woman replied: “It is not so! Your son is the dead one and my son lives!
King Solomon watched them argue for a little while, and then spoke to the second woman.
“So, you claim that your son is the live one and hers the dead one.”
She agreed. He then spoke to the first woman.
“So, you claim that her son is the dead one and yours the live one.”
She, too, agreed.
King Solomon then spoke again: “Bring me a sword!”
He gave the sword to the second woman and said to her: “You may cut the child into two. However it will be her choice which half to take.”
The two women saw that he had ensured they would each recieve an equal portion of baby. They left and spread the word of his decision. All of Israel heard of his wise judgement and held him in great awe.