The Peace Talks of King Solomon
Reading the newspaper this morning, and seeing a photograph of the walls of the Old
City of Jerusalem surrounded by protesters, I was struck by a thought. Jews, Palestinians, and Muslims all make claims to the city. These people are protesting the suggestion made in the peace talks, that the holy old city be split.
Is the wisdom of King Solomon being overlooked in the fighting over his temple?
It strikes me as quite the opposite of the decision of Solomon. When the two women
both laid claim to the child, Solomon declared that the child should be cut in two and each
of the women should have a piece. The true mother of the child, unable to bear the idea of
the child's death, took back her claim, if only the child would live. The other, jealous
woman would have had the child cut in half, because if she could not have the child, she did not want anyone to have the child. Solomon, in his wisdom, recognized that the true mother would give up the child, for the child's own good.
As the suggestion comes up in the peace talks, the groups competing for control of the Old City are not acting as the true mother. No one can bear the thought of the city being split, but no one will give up his own claim in order to save the city. Instead, each of the groups would rather kill the others than surrender its claim.
And so the fighting continues. Perhaps, soon, there
will be nothing left over which to fight. I wonder if everyone will be