In I Kings 3:16-28 Shlomo Hamelech rendered the well-renowned verdict that made all of Yisrael stand in awe concerning the decision between the Two Harlots. Outside of the fact that the women were harlots and no daughter of Yisrael was suppose to be one (here, here, and here) and even if they were not Yisraelites, the land is supposed to be holy). To reach the "Supreme Court" and be granted to stand in the presence of the King, they would have had to go through various people to come before the presence of Shlomo HaMelech (here). My question is how the woman was not only a harlot but lied to various people (assuming it did not go straight to the King), what ends up happening to her after the matter? Insights, commentaries, articles, and resources are welcomed and very much so appreciated.

  • 4
    Are you saying as a punishment for having been a harlot, or for a false claim? Courts have people with conflicting claims all the time. There are punishments for false witnesses, but she was making a claim about herself, that's not considered testimony. I say you owe me money, you say "never happened", I produce convincing proof to the courts, you pay up, we're done. Not aware of penalizing a claimant who lost the case (unless they've hired false witnesses). Certainly here, why inflict more pain on the woman whose baby died?
    – Shalom
    Mar 22, 2021 at 8:56
  • @Shalom It was about the false claim. Everything you wrote makes a lot of sense and I didn't even consider the grief aspect in regards to the dead baby, especially to a mother.
    – יהודה
    Mar 22, 2021 at 15:22
  • The Torah (including Tanach) only includes information that contains some value. If both the written and the oral Torah omit the discussion of this woman's fate, it is probably an indication that there is nothing of value to be learned from the omitted information.
    – user17319
    Apr 2, 2021 at 3:49
  • @Tesvov "The Torah (including Tanach) only includes information that contains some value"...What's the "some" and what's not of value?
    – יהודה
    Apr 2, 2021 at 8:52
  • @Shalom If you write/augment your comment into an answer I will award you the bounty (unless someone else comes in and offers a better response within the timeframe).
    – יהודה
    Apr 5, 2021 at 9:16

2 Answers 2


It is hard to prove a negative, but I have learned that topic pretty thoroughly and I am pretty sure nobody discusses it, for the reasons Shalom gave in his comment.

  • What happened to the women who lied to King Solomon?
    – Turk Hill
    Mar 30, 2021 at 5:16
  • @N.T. Shalom/Peace. Nobody (discussing it) as in who exactly?
    – יהודה
    Mar 30, 2021 at 5:54
  • None of the commentators or midrashim
    – N.T.
    Mar 30, 2021 at 10:39
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    That Shlomo was blessed with great wisdom. After the verdict was accepted as divinely inspired wisdom, what does it matter what happened to the women?
    – N.T.
    Apr 2, 2021 at 9:24
  • 1
    There's nothing wrong with asking. I just said I'm pretty sure I would have seen if it was.
    – N.T.
    Apr 6, 2021 at 0:38

The fate of the woman has three potential outcomes:

  1. She came to believe the truth of Solomon's ruling and faced the reality of her child being dead, and so she mourned the loss of her child.

  2. Her baby was taken from her by King Solomon and given to another woman, so she came to terms with her child being given away, and so she mourned the loss of her child.

  3. Her response of encouraging Solomon to cut the baby in half during this episode sounds like she was mentally unwell. If this was true, then perhaps she continued to unwind mentally and disappeared into obscurity. If she was perceived to be mentally unwell by Solomon and his court, it makes sense they might not heap more punishments upon her. Especially considering she had just lost her child either by death or by the court.

Source: Me

  • For #3 is there any source you know of that speaks about people being ostracized or excommunicated due to having "blemishes" within the family?
    – יהודה
    Apr 1, 2021 at 4:05
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    @יהודה I don't have any sources. But I also wasn't making a claim that mental blemishes caused her to be ostracized. My experience with mental illness is that the more the unwell person unravels, the more they bring seclusion upon themselves by their actions.
    – Aaron
    Apr 1, 2021 at 16:15
  • Please forgive me for any confusion on my end. I wasn't insinuating or claiming that you made that assertion "mentally blemishes" caused her to be ostracized. Your answer actually stirred up my mind to investigate various instances where an individual/family would be ostracized from the community and if this possibly could have come upon her (being known as a liar/cheat or a family that houses a liar/cheater, etc).
    – יהודה
    Apr 1, 2021 at 18:08

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