善為士者,不武;
善戰者,不怒。
善勝敵者,不與;
善用人者,為之下。

    He who in (Dao's) wars has skill
      Assumes no martial port;
    He who fights with most good will
      To rage makes no resort.
    He who vanquishes yet still
      Keeps from his foes apart;
    He whose hests men most fulfil
      Yet humbly plies his art.

是謂不爭之德。
是謂用人之力。
是謂配天,古之極。

    Thus we say, 'He ne'er contends,
      And therein is his might.'
    Thus we say, 'Men's wills he bends,
      That they with him unite.'
    Thus we say, 'Like Heaven's his ends,
      No sage of old more bright.'

Legge's Comments

配天, 'Matching Heaven.' The chapter describes the work of the practiser of the Dao as accomplished like that of Heaven, without striving or crying. He appears under the figure of a mailed warrior () of the ancient chariot. The chapter is a sequel of the preceding, and is joined to it by Wu Cheng, as is also the next.