Liar Discerning 101

5 Nov

The Judgment of Solomon is a metaphorical expression referring to a wise judge who uses a stratagem to determine the truth, tricking the parties into revealing their true feelings. Specifically, the judge pretends that he will destroy the subject matter of a dispute, rather than allowing either disputing party to win at the expense of the other. (There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a pretense.)


The saying is based upon the Biblical passage in 1 Kings 3:16-28, where two new mothers approach Solomon, bringing with them one dead baby boy. Each mother presents the same story and accusation: She and the other woman live together and have both recently given birth to baby boys. One night, soon after the birth of their respective boys, the other woman woke to find that she had smothered her own baby in her sleep. In anguish and jealousy, she took her dead son and exchanged it with the other’s child. The following morning, the woman discovered the dead baby, and soon realized that it was not her own son, but the other woman’s.


After some deliberation, King Solomon calls for a sword to be brought before him. He declares that there is only one fair solution: the live son must be split in two, each woman receiving half of the child. Upon hearing this terrible verdict, the boy’s true mother cries out, "Please, My Lord, give her the live child—do not kill him!" However, the liar, in her bitter jealousy, exclaims, "It shall be neither mine nor yours—divide it!" Solomon instantly gives the live baby to the real mother, realizing that the true mother’s instincts were to protect her child, while the liar revealed that she did not truly love the child.



Legal analysis suggests that the case had to do with the laws of levirate marriage, where the baby was actually the lying woman’s brother-in-law, whom she was obligated to marry unless he specifically refuses when he reaches age of maturity, which was still thirteen years away. Therefore, when Solomon suggested that the infant be split in half, the lying woman, seeing that the result of such a decision would better serve her interests as she would then be free to remarry, agreed. Thus was Solomon able to know who the real mother was.


In the end, Solomon, by his wisdom, avoids the destruction of the subject matter of the dispute (the baby). There is no reason to believe that destruction was ever his intent. 



This blog has been copied from into eez werld, divided by a picture Li’l ë copied from & has had its original colour changed to Ontarian Quarry Green & the bold subject line to Granny’s Lavender by none other than guess who?



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