Hexagram 3, line 3

即鹿無虞.惟入于林中.君子幾不如舍.往吝.

Ji 即: approach; be close to

Lu 鹿: general term for deer, reindeer, moose, etc. According to Lu Deming’s 陸德明 Jingdian Shiwen 經典釋文 the Wang Su 王肅 notes have lu 麓, the foot of a hill or mountain. Kong Yingda 孔穎達 reads 鹿 as 麓 in his Chunqiu Zuozhuan Zhengyi 春秋左傳正義 :

鹿,山足。林屬於山曰鹿.
Lu 鹿 is the foot of a mountain. A forest that is joined to a mountain is called lu 鹿.

Yu 虞: a forester; someone who is in charge of the forests and everything that lives in it. In the Shujing 書經 we read:

帝曰:「疇若予上下草木鳥獸?」僉曰:「益哉!」帝曰:「俞,咨!益,汝作朕虞。」
The Di said, ‘Who can superintend, as the nature of the charge requires, the grass and trees, with the birds and beasts (on my hills and in my marshes)?’ All (in the court) replied, ‘Is there not Yi?’ The Di said, ‘Yes. Ho! Yi do you be my forester.’

In the Zhouli 周禮 we have a passage in which a forester is specifically linked to the forest that is near a mountain (麓):

每大林麓下士十有二人;史四人,胥十有二人,徒百有二十人。中林麓如中山之虞。小林麓如小山之虞。
Every large forest at the foot of a mountain requires 12 men of the Shi 士 (officials), of the Shi 史 (historians) four men, of the Xu 胥 (petty officials) twelve men, of the Tu 徒 (common workers) one hundred and twenty. A forest of middle size requires a quantity of foresters equal to the quantity required for a middle sized mountain. A forest of small size requires a quantity of foresters equal to the quantity required for a small sized mountain.

Ji 幾: before a verb it should be read as ‘should, ought to’ (用于動詞前,表示理當如此.可譯為“應當、“應該”等; 古代漢語虛詞詞典, p. 457).

Buru 不如, ‘not as good as’, ‘it is better to’.

She 舍: stop and stay overnight (留宿)

Lin 吝: similar to lin 遴, ‘difficulties; difficult progress’. According to Lu Deming Jing Fang 京房 uses 遴 instead of 吝. The Mawangdui text uses 𠳵, which is a known variant of 鄰 –> 遴.

Approaching the forest without a forester, only ending up in the middle of the woods. The lord should stop and stay overnight. To go results in difficulties.

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