Analects 8.20

Original Text:



Other Translations:

Shun had five ministers and the world was well governed.

King Wu said, “I have ten ministers in charge of establishing order.”

The Master commented, “It is said that talent is difficult to find—is it not the case? Virtue flourished as never before after the reigns of Yao and Shun, and yet [even among King Wu’s ten ministers] there was a woman included, so he really only had nine good men.”

“Two-thirds of the world had already turned to [King Wen], and yet he still continued to defer to and serve the Shang. The Virtue of the Zhou—surely it can be said to represent ultimate Virtue?”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Shun had five ministers, and the empire was well governed. King Wu said, I have ten capable ministers.

Confucius said, Talent is hard to find—true, is it not? In the time of Tang and Yu, talent flourished, [yet Shun had only five ministers. As for King Wu’s ten ministers,] one was a woman, so he had only nine men. Zhou already possessed two-thirds of the empire, yet it continued to serve the Yin dynasty. The virtue of the Zhou may be termed the highest virtue.

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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