Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other
saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is the living.
And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king.
And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.
What thoughts, what doubts must King Solomon have entertained as he ordered this deception? If it should fail - if, against his expectations and divine wisdom, the women should accept his cruel declaration, or both should beg that he spare the child - then would he not be forced to carry through with his word and sacrifice the innocent?
But then, he was wise precisely because he knew that this tactic would succeed in revealing the truth of the matter to all. His wisdom was not a talent that he had nurtured, at which he might still fall short, but rather a gift of God, a thing beyond question. He could have no doubt - he was the King.