Congregation Bible Study ‒ Week Starting March 23

Study information for the book: Draw Close to Jehovah

***cl pp. 219-221 Is “the Wisdom From Above” at Work in Your Life?***


1-3. (a) How did Solomon display extraordinary wisdom in the way he handled a maternity dispute? (b) What does Jehovah promise to give us, and what questions arise?

IT WAS a difficult case—two women arguing over a baby. The women shared a home, and each had given birth to a son, just days apart. One of the babies had died, and now each woman claimed to be the mother of the living baby.* There were no other witnesses to what had happened. The case had likely been heard in a lower court but not resolved. Finally, the dispute was taken to Solomon, the king of Israel. Would he be able to uncover the truth?
par. 1 According to 1 Kings 3:16, the two women were prostitutes.Insight on the Scriptures states: “These women may have been prostitutes, not in a commercial sense, but women who had committed fornication, either Jewish women or, quite possibly, women of foreign descent.”—Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
(1 Ki. 3:16) At that time two prostitutes came in to the king and stood before him.

2 After listening for a while as the women argued, Solomon called for a sword. Then, with seeming conviction, he ordered that the child be cut in two, with half given to each woman. At once, the real mother pleaded with the king to give the baby—her precious child—to the other woman. But the other woman kept insisting that the child be cut in two. Solomon now knew the truth. He had knowledge of a mother’s tender compassion for the child of her womb, and he used that knowledge to settle this dispute. Imagine the mother’s relief when Solomon awarded her the baby and said: “She is his mother.”—1 Kings 3:16-27.
par. 2 (1 Ki. 3:16-27) At that time two prostitutes came in to the king and stood before him. 17 The first woman said: “Please, my lord, this woman and I live in one house, and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 On the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. We were together, just the two of us; there was no one else with us in the house. 19 During the night this woman’s son died, because she lay on him. 20 So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while your slave girl was asleep and laid him in her arms, and she laid her dead son in my arms. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, I saw that he was dead. So I examined him closely in the morning and saw that it was not my son whom I had given birth to.”22 But the other woman said: “No, my son is the living one, and your son is the dead one!” But the first woman was saying: “No, your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.” That is how they argued before the king. 23 Finally the king said: “This one says, ‘This is my son, the living one, and your son is the dead one!’ and that one says, ‘No, your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one!’” 24 The king said: “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword to the king. 25 The king then said: “Cut the living child in two, and give half to one woman and half to the other.” 26 At once the woman whose son was the living one pleaded with the king, for her compassions were stirred toward her son. She said: “Please, my lord! You should give her the living child! By no means put him to death!” But the other woman was saying: “He will be neither mine nor yours! Let them cut him in two!” 27 At that the king answered: “Give the living child to the first woman! By no means put him to death, for she is his mother.”

3 Extraordinary wisdom, was it not? When the people heard how Solomon had resolved the case, they were in awe, “for they saw that the wisdom of God was within him.” Yes, Solomon’s wisdom was a divine gift. Jehovah had given him “a wise and understanding heart.” (1 Kings 3:12, 28) But what about us? May we too receive godly wisdom? Yes, for under inspiration, Solomon wrote: “Jehovah himself gives wisdom.” (Proverbs 2:6) Jehovah promises to give wisdom—the ability to put knowledge, understanding, and discernment to good use—to those who sincerely seek it. How may we acquire wisdom from above? And how can we put it to work in our life?
par. 3 (1 Ki. 3:12) I will do what you asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that just as there has never been anyone like you before, there will never be anyone like you again.
par. 3 (1 Ki. 3:28) So all Israel heard about the judgment that the king had handed down, and they were in awe of the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was with him to execute justice.
par. 3 (Prov. 2:6) For Jehovah himself gives wisdom; From his mouth come knowledge and discernment.

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