Duke Hui of Jin

Duke Hui of Jin
Ruler of the State of Jin
Reign 650–637 BC
Predecessor Zhuozi
Successor Duke Huai of Jin
Died 637 BC
Father Duke Xian of Jin
Mother Xiao Rongzi (小戎子)

Duke Hui of Jin (simplified Chinese: 晋惠公; traditional Chinese: 晉惠公; pinyin: Jìn Huì Gōng), ancestral name Ji (姬), given name Yiwu (夷吾), was from 650 to 637 BC the ruler of the State of Jin during Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. He was the younger brother of Shensheng and Duke Wen of Jin, and known as Prince Yiwu before ascending the throne.[1]

Before Reign as Duke

Due to the Li Ji Rebellion, a plot set up by Li Ji, the favored concubine of Duke Xian of Jin, to remove the other princes from the capital and make her son Xiqi crown prince, Yiwu was sent to defend Erqu (二屈), modern day Ji County in Shanxi.

After the death of Duke Xian of Jin in the ninth month of 651 BC, Li Ji placed her 15-year-old son Xiqi on the throne of Jin and made Xun Xi (荀息) chancellor help him with government affairs. In the tenth month of 651 BC, a Jin official named Li Ke (里克) killed Xiqi roughly a month after his ascension to the throne. Duke Xian of Jin was not yet properly buried at that time. Chancellor Xun Xi then placed Zhuozi, the youngest son of Duke Xian on the throne of Jin, even though Zhuozi was still a toddler at that time. After that, Xun Xi finished the burial of Duke Xian of Jin. In the eleventh month of 651 BC, Li Ke killed Zhuozi and his aunt, Li Ji. Xun Xi then committed suicide by hanging himself. Shao Ji (少姬), the younger sister of Li Ji and mother of Zhuozi, was imprisoned.

Li Ke invited Prince Chong'er, then in the State of Qi, back to the State of Jin to become the next Duke. Prince Chong'er declined, so Li Ke then invited Prince Yiwu who was then in the State of Liang and he accepted. Yiwu ascended the throne of Jin and became Duke Hui of Jin. Li Ke was then sentenced by Duke Hui of Jin to commit suicide.

Reign as Duke

In 647 BC, the fourth year of his reign, the State of Jin experienced a famine and requested that the State of Qin to sell some of its grain to Jin. Duke Mu of Qin agreed and sold some grain to Jin.

In 646 BC, the fifth year of his reign, the State of Qin experienced a famine, but Duke Hui of Jin was not willing to sell some of its grain to Qin, despite his official Qing Zheng's (慶鄭) advise. Duke Mu of Qin invaded Jin in rage and attacked Jin in the land of Han (韓). Duke Hui of Jin refused to let Qing Zheng drive his chariot. While in battle, the chariot of Duke Hui of Jin got stuck in mud, so the Qin troops closed in on him. He immediately ordered Qing Zheng to drive his chariot, but Qing Zheng simply walked away. He then ordered Liang Yao (梁繇) to drive his chariot and Guo She (虢射) was responsible for defending and attacking Duke Mu of Qin. In the end, the Jin troops were defeated and retreated. Duke Hui of Jin was taken captive back to Qin.

When the day came that he was going to be killed as an offering to the gods, Bo Ji (伯姬), the wife of Duke Mu of Qin and half-sister of Duke Hui of Jin, as seen wearing mourning clothes while weeping. Duke Mu of Qin, at the sight of his wife, told him that the capture of the Duke of Jin should celebrate, not mourned upon. Duke Mu of Qin also told Boji that once he had heard that when Duke of Jin's ancestor Shu Yu of Tang was given land, the famous politician Jizi famously said that his descendants would thrive and be prosperous. Because of this, Duke Mu of Qin agreed to form an alliance with Jin and agreed to send Duke Hui of Jin back to Jin.

On the eleventh month of 646 BC, Duke Mu of Qin escorted Duke Hui of Jin back to Jin. He immediately killed Qing Zheng for his treason and fixed the Jin government. He also discussed with his officials that since Prince Chong'er is still alive, many officials favor him and are willing to receive him. Therefore, Duke Hui of Jin sent men to the Di tribe (翟族), one of the northern Rong tribes (戎族), where Prince Chong'er was hiding to kill him. As soon as Prince Chonger heard of this, he escaped to the State of Qi.

In 643 BC, the eighth year of his reign, he sent Crown Prince Yu to the State of Qin as a hostage. In 641 BC, Duke Mu of Qin invaded the State of Liang. At that time, the Count of Liang was leading a large-scale construction project to build a city moat and ditch. The citizens were tired and were scared when the Qin troops arrived, so the State of Liang was easily conquered by Qin.

Death and Legacy

In 638 BC, the thirteenth year of his reign, Duke Hui of Jin was gravely ill. Fearing that his brothers will take over the throne and sad for his mother who lives in the State of Liang, Crown Prince Yu planned with his wife Huai Ying (懷嬴) to escape from Qin and Crown Prince Yu arrived before his father had died.

On the ninth month 637, BC, the fourteenth year of his reign, Duke Hui of Jin died, and Crown Prince Yu ascended the throne and became Duke Huai of Jin.


  1. Sima Qian. 晋世家 [House of Jin]. Records of the Grand Historian (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 April 2012.
Duke Hui of Jin
Cadet branch of the House of Ji
Died: 637 BC
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Duke of Jin
650–637 BC
Succeeded by
Duke Huai of Jin
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