1 Kings 3:26 (ESV)

26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”

1 Kings 3:26 shows the responses of the respective prostitutes to Solomon’s plan. The writer begins the verse by revealing the woman who was telling the truth before he shows us how this can be concluded. He identifies the first woman who spoke as the woman whose son was alive.

Her reply is to give up all rights to the child: Oh, my lord give her the living child, and by no means put him to death. The Bible also shows us the reason that she was able to give the response that she did. It was a matter of the heart—her heart yearned for her son. This fact was the reason that she brought the suit when he was stolen from her, but it also was the cause of her willingness to give him up to save his life.

In contrast to the first woman’s reaction, the other showed the state of her heart by a callous willingness, under the circumstances, to see the child destroyed. Her thought must have been, If I am not allowed to keep him, then nobody will.

How different the mother’s thought process was from many women at the present time. Sinner though she was, she was willing to give up her legitimate right to the child, in order to preserve his life, while today we behold, at least in some places, the claim of the dubious rights of a woman to overbalance the survival of her unborn child. And, unlike in the case of Solomon, we often see this callous disregard for life sustained by judges in many jurisdictions.