Gong Advised the King Not to Let Jinn's Troops Pass Through Their Territory
(A historical event around 690 B.C.)
Tzuoo's Interpretation of Spring-Fall
The King of Country Jinn, Shiann, asked again for permission to pass through
the territory of Country Yu to attack Country Gwo. Gong advised the King of Yu,
"Country Gwo is the outpost of Country Yu. If Country Gwo is destroyed, Country
Yu will also be destroyed. You should not encourage the greed of the King of
Jinn, and should pay attention to the intention of the enemy. King Shiann used
our path once before. Should we let him do it again? There is a saying, 'The
cheek and gum rely on each other. The teeth will suffer cold if the lips are
removed.' The saying can be used most appropriately to describe the close
relationship between Yu and Gwo."
The King of Yu said, "Country Ginn and Country Yu have the same ancestor. Why
does the King of Ginn want to destroy me?" Gong said, "Bor and Yu were Emperor
Tay's sons. They knew that their father intended to establish their younger
brother Li as heir, so they went abroad to voluntarily give up their right to
the kingdom. Consequently, Li inherited the throne. Wen, Gwo I and Gwo II were
Emperor Li's sons. Gwo I and Gwo II used to be Emperor Wen's advisers. Later,
they were offered the titles of duke. The two dukes made a great contribution to
the royal family and signed a treaty with Emperor Wen to defend our country. If
the King of Jinn dares to destroy Country Gwo, why should he care about Country
Yu? The family of Hwan were King Shiann's great grandfather's descendents. The
family of Juang were King Shiann's grandfather's descendents. Does Country Yu
have a closer relationship with King Shiann than the family of Hwan or Juang?
King Shiann should have taken care of the two families. However, he killed all
of them simply because the two families were powerful enough to threaten the
throne. To secure his kingship, the
King of Jinn harmed his close relatives. For the benefit of his country, King Shiann would care
even less for Country Yu."
The King of Yu said, "The offerings that I present to God are rich and pure,
so He must bless me." Gong said, "I heard that God does not give blessing
indiscriminately. The Bible of Journalism says, "No one is God's relative
who deserves special treatment. God only blesses righteous people…..The aroma of
food offerings won’t reach God. Only one's virtues can reach heaven and attract
God's blessing." The Bible also says, "People's offerings are almost the same.
Only the virtue of righteous people distinguishes their offerings from other
people's offerings." In view of this, unless a king is righteous, his people
will not have peace and God will not accept his offerings. In other words, God's
blessing is determined by one's righteousness. If King Shiann destroys Country
Yu and uses righteousness to make his offering fragrant, then can God spit it
The King of Yu ignored Gong's advice and granted the permission to the
messenger of Jinn. Gong led his family to Country Tso to escape from the
persecution of King Shiann. Gong predicted, "Country Yu will no longer exist by
winter. The King of Jinn will use the same troops that will destroy Country Gwo to
destroy Country Yu. He will not need another expedition."
That winter, Jinn's troops destroyed Country Gwo. On their way back, they
camped in Country Yu for rest. Taking advantage of this opportunity, they
attacked Yu and arrested the King of Yu.
Partial Genealogical table of the Chou dynasty.
Yu the 3rd
Emperor Wen Gwo I Gwo II
! after many
King Shiann (Juang’s grandson)
Country Ginn were Tarng’s descendents.
Country Yu were Yu’s descendents.
Country Gwo were the descendents of Gwo I and Gwo II.