Contemporary figures in the Analects of Confucius: Bi Chen

Bi Chen (裨諶) was a minister of the small state of Zheng and a key member of the lean, mean bureaucratic machine that was run by its illustrious chief minister Zichan.

Bi Chen makes only one appearance in the Analects. In 14.8, Confucius describes his role as preparing the first draft of a government edict for review and editing by his colleagues Shi Shu and Ziyu before it was sent for final polishing by Zichan himself.

Other sources report that whenever he was given the task of preparing a document, he would leave the hustle and bustle of the court to write it in the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Appearances in the Analects of Confucius

Book 14, Chapter 8

Book 14
Chapter 8
子曰:「為命:裨諶草創之,世叔討論之,行人子羽修飾之,東里子產潤色之。」
Confucius said: “Whenever a government edict needed to be written, Bi Chen prepared the first draft, Shi Shu reviewed and revised it, Ziyu, the head of protocol, edited it, and Zichan of Dongli gave it a final polish.”

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