The Yi jing
      The Chinese Classic of Changes   right reading news service

homeward bound




For comparison, some English translations of the Yi jing

Versions of Hexagram 4 as rendered by various translators (line statements only)

James Legge (1899)

  1. (Has respect to) the dispelling of ignorance. It will be advantageous to use punishment (for that purpose), and to remove the shackles (from the mind). But going on in that way (of punishment) will give occasion for regret.
  2. (Shows its subject) exercising forbearance with the ignorant, in which there will be good fortune; and admitting even the goodness of women, which will also be fortunate. (He may be described also as) a son able to (sustain the burden of) his family.
  3. (Seems to say) that one should not marry a woman whose emblem it might be, for that, when she sees a man of wealth, she will not keep her person from him, and in no wise will advantage come from her.
  4. (Shows its subject as if) bound in chains of ignorance. There will be occasion for regret.
  5. Shows its subject as a simple lad without experience. There will be good fortune.
  6. We see one smiting the ignorant (youth). But no advantage.

Richard Wilhelm / Cary F. Baynes (1923/1951)

  1. To make a fool develop It furthers one to apply discipline. The fetters should be removed. To go on in this way brings humiliation.
  2. To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune. To know how to take women Brings supreme good fortune. The son is capable of taking charge of the household.
  3. Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze, Loses possession of herself. Nothing furthers.
  4. Entangled folly brings humiliation.
  5. Childlike folly brings good fortune.
  6. In punishing folly It does not further one To commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers Is to prevent transgressions.

Kerson and Rosemary Huang (1985)

  1. The cataract is clearing. Good omen for one condemned. The shackles may be off, But walking is difficult.
  2. The cook is blind. Auspicious for talking a daughter-in-law. The son will have a family.
  3. Do not marry the girl. She sees the gold and not the man. Nothing good will come of it.
  4. Trapped and blinded. Difficulty.
  5. Childlike naivete. All goes well.
  6. Strike the blind only in defense. Never in offense.

Richard John Lynn (1994)

  1. With the opening up of Juvenile Ignorance, it is fitting both to subject him to the awareness of punishment and to remove fetters and schackles, but if he were to set out in this way, he would find it hard going.
  2. To treat the Juvenile Ignorant with magnanimity means good fortune, To take a wife means good fortune. His child will be up to taking charge of the family.
  3. It will not do to marry this woman. Here she sees a man strong as metal and discards her self-possession, so there is nothing at all fitting here.
  4. Here confounded by Juvenile Ignorance, one becomes base,
  5. The Juvenile Ignorant here will find good fortune.
  6. Strike at Juvenile Ignorance, but it is not fitting to engage in harassment; it is fitting to guard against harassment

Richard Rutt (1996)

  1. Pulling dodder. Favorable for giving punishment, or for removing shackles and fetters. Distress in travel.
  2. Wrapping dodder. Auspicious. For bringing home a wife, auspicious. A son may be betrothed. Not for taking a wife.
  3. Seeing a bronze arrow, having no bow. Favorable for nothing.
  4. Dodder in bundles. Distress.
  5. Dodder. Auspicious.
  6. Knocking down dodder. Unfavourable for raiding. Favorable against raiders.

Thomas Christensen (2006)

  1. Unleash the whelp, let him go
  2. The fool will do you no harm
  3. Some are not for marrying
  4. Matted tangles mask the view
  5. Mind the wisdom of the fool
  6. One who gets slapped will laugh last




another comparison of translations (at onlineclarity)

Introduction to the Yi jing

About this rendering

How to cast a hexagram

All entries

The less one thinks about the theory of the I Ching, the more soundly one sleeps.
    -- Carl Jung


Taoism and the Arts of China

Chinese Jade

top of page
site home | yi jing home