Chinese & Art Classroom

Chinese Idiom 002: 居安思危 Ju An Si Wei - Be Prepared for Danger in Times of Peace -- Nov 6, 2010

Listen to Shirley to Explain this Idiom & Follow Me to Read It

This week, when I read the story in Chapter 41 to Chapter 46 of Genesis of Bible -- How Joseph advised the Pharaoh of Egypt to be prepared for the possible famine in the plenty years and how he was appointed to lead Egyptian people to collect and save the 20% of the produce of the land in the plentiful 7 years, and how they did not only withstand the famine with the food, but also, they helped the people from the other places to live through the hard time, two Chinese idioms jumped into my mind. One is " Ju An Si Wei --   be prepared for danger in times of peace "; the other is "Yi De Bao Yuan - repay injury with kindness", because Joseph   was just the brother who was sold by his brothers in their travel years ago, and some of the people who were helped by him, just his brothers...

This weekend, I would like to introduce the first idiom for you.

CHINESE IDIOM 002: Ju An Si Wei -- Tso Chuan (722 B.C. - 468 B.C.)

MEANING: be prepared for danger in times of peace; be vigilant in peace time;mindful of possible danger in times of peace; provide against danger while living in peace; think of danger in time of peace; Though enjoying security, one should ever be prepared for danger.


-- It was in the Spring and Autumn Period(722 B.C.- 479 B.C.) a country Jin led the other 11 countries to attack Zheng, the king of Zheng had to go to Jin to sue for peace with many gifts. The king of Jin was happy for his win and he delivered the gifts to his ministers.   One of the ministers Wei Jiang refused it and he advised the king to Ju An Si Wei. He said that when a gentleman controls the country, he should be mindful of the possible danger in time of peace; as long as he has thought of it, he would do some preparative; in case he has been in preparation, when anything danger happens, he will be safe and will not be sorry. The king agreed with Wei and took his advice.

君 子 居 安 思 危则有备,有备无患。

-- 《左传•襄公十一年》

You are welcome to clink the Idiom --居 安 思 危 or any Chinese Character below, to open the Board of New Chinese Character, to see its Chinese pinyin, meaning, pronunciation and follow me to read it


- jū
- ān
- sī
- wēi

THE ANTONYM: 高枕无忧 - gāo zhěn wú yōu

Means: rest easy, sleep soundly without any worry.

If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to or You are welcome to publish your opinions in Message Board as well.

Shirley Zhang

Edited, Translated & Recorded Sat, Nov 6, 2010

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