Nine at the beginning means:
His feet are fastened in the stocks,
So that his toes disappear.
If a sentence is imposed the first time a man attempts to do wrong, the penalty is a mild one. Only the toes are put in the stocks. This prevents him from sinning further and thus he becomes free of blame. It is a warning to halt in time on the path of evil.
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.