Ecclesiastes 5:7
אִם עֹשֶׁק רָשׁ וְגֵזֶל מִשְׁפָּט וָצֶדֶק תִּרְאֶה בַמְּדִינָה אַל תִּתְמַהּ עַל הַחֵפֶץ כִּי גָבֹהַּ מֵעַל גָּבֹהַּ שֹׁמֵר וּגְבֹהִים עֲלֵיהֶם:
If you see in a province oppression of the poor and suppression of right and justice, don't wonder at the fact; for one high official is protected by a higher one, and both of them by still higher ones. [JPS translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What does this text teach us about the nature of poverty? Why does poverty exist?

2. According to this text, what is the relationship between a people and their government? What is the purpose of a government?

Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)