The Wisdom of King Solomon:
An in-depth look into the historic Biblical event
that revealed Shlomo Hamelech's insight & understanding
Did you ever wonder why this historic episode exhibited so much wisdom?
The historic event that catapulted King Shlomo (King Solomon) into epic renown as "the wisest man" remains a classic until today.
Suspenseful and compelling, one aspect of it always bothered me.
How on earth did the command to slice through a live baby demonstrate the young king's wisdom?
After all, such a brutal act would kill the innocent newborn.
And how could anyone ever agree to such a gruesome outcome, regardless of whose baby it was?
No normal person does that. Even a perfect stranger would object to such a brutal "solution."
You don't need to be the child's biological mother to protest against such an atrocity or to relinquish your custodianship of the threatened baby—whether he's your baby or not.
Furthermore, the non-mother's eager concession to the king's suggestion always both horrified and puzzled me.
Why on earth would she desire the bloody half of a dead infant—whether hers or anyone else's?
Delving into millennia of traditional Jewish scholarship not only answered the above questions, but revealed far more to the Torah's narrative than ever imagined.
In-depth study also addressed an issue I never considered: Which woman was the real mother—the accuser or the accused?
If you ever felt pricked by similar doubts and questions regarding this classic story of wisdom, please read on to discover the answers to these—and more.
Note: For those who like to review the weekly Torah portion and weekly Haftarah, this episode is the Haftarah for the Torah portion Miketz (Beresheit/Genesis 41:1 – 44:17).