Proverbs 11:16-21
אֵשֶׁת חֵן תִּתְמֹךְ כָּבוֹד וְעָרִיצִים יִתְמְכוּ עֹשֶׁר: גֹּמֵל נַפְשׁוֹ אִישׁ חָסֶד וְעֹכֵר שְׁאֵרוֹ אַכְזָרִי: רָשָׁע עֹשֶׂה פְעֻלַּת שָׁקֶר וְזֹרֵעַ צְדָקָה שֶׂכֶר אֱמֶת: כֵּן צְדָקָה לְחַיִּים וּמְרַדֵּף רָעָה לְמוֹתוֹ: תּוֹעֲבַת ה' עִקְּשֵׁי לֵב וּרְצוֹנוֹ תְּמִימֵי דָרֶךְ: יָד לְיָד לֹא יִנָּקֶה רָּע וְזֶרַע צַדִּיקִים נִמְלָט:
A graceful woman obtains honor; ruthless men obtain wealth. A kindly man benefits himself; a cruel man makes trouble for himself. The wicked person earns illusory wages, but one who sows righteousness has a true reward. Righteousness is a prop of life, but to pursue evil leads to death. People of crooked mind are an abomination to the LORD, but those whose way is blameless please God. Assuredly, the evil person will not escape, but the offspring of the righteous will be safe. [JPS translation. Edited for gender neutrality]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What attributes does this text equate with righteousness? What traits are attributed to wickedness?

2. What are the spheres of influence of each of these actions? In other words, in what realms of interaction are our actions judged?

3. What does it mean that "the evil person will not escape?" Who is ultimately responsible for holding those who abuse others accountable?

Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)