Nine in the second place means:
In the midst of the army.
Good fortune. No blame.
The king bestows a triple decoration.
The leader should be in the midst of his army, in touch with it, sharing good and bad with the masses he leads. This alone makes him equal to the heavy demands made upon him. He needs also the recognition of the ruler. The decorations he receives are justified, because there is no question of personal preferment here: the whole army, whose center he is, is honored in his person.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.