Thursday, June 19, 2014

Baby Changes Everything, Demands Sacrifice

There's a story in the Bible meant to illustrate the wisdom of Solomon. The first time I heard the story I was a very young boy, and I suspect most people with even a juvenile knowledge of the Bible are familiar with it as well.

However, to summarize, 2 women approach King Solomon seeking his judgement in their case. The women each had given birth to sons, but one of the boys suffocated in the night as the mother lay on top of him.

Both women claimed the child to be hers. One claimed there was a dubious switch, and the other denied it.

Solomon orders the child be brought to him and cut in two halves with a sword, a half of the child to go to each woman.

At this, one of the women begins to plead with Solomon, saying “Please, my lord, give her the living baby—do not kill it!” even as the other women said, “It shall be neither mine nor yours. Cut it in two!”

Solomon, seeing that the woman who plead for the infant's life was the true mother, awards him to her, and becomes "renown" for his wisdom in the matter.

I always liked the story, but while reading this morning I noticed the footnotes:

* [3:26–27] The true mother reveals herself by an uncommon and tender word for the child, “baby.” With this, and the woman’s willingness to give up her child, Solomon realizes that she is the true mother, and quotes her words exactly in rendering his judgment. 1
I never really gave that any thought or even noticed it before, but it brought a smile to my face that one word, "baby", changed everything.

Oh, and that's not all either. I also love that it is stated "and the woman’s willingness to give up her child" that shows Solomon "that she is the true mother."

The true mother, ready to sacrifice all, including her connection to the baby, so that he might be spared and live. Beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment