Elon Musk randomly tweets a 1,800-year-old Chinese poem asking for peace – confusing followers and sparking speculation about its secret meaning

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk, 50, tweeted Monday night a 1,800-year-old poem asking for peace.
  • The tweet contained an ancient Chinese poem, The Quatrain of Seven Steps, in its original Mandarin language. It had the words “Humankind” written above it
  • The poem is about conflict in close relationships and is taught to primary school children in China about getting along
  • Users of Western social media platforms and Chinese were both confused about the meaning of this poem.
  • Some blamed it on Musk’s rivalry against a director of the world hunger program who promised $6 billion if the organization shared his solution.
  • Others attributed it to conflict between two cryptocurrency groups with dog-themed names 

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO billionaire, tweeted Monday night a 1,800 year-old Chinese poem asking for ‘peace’. Users were left confused about what he meant. 

Musk, 50, posted The Quatrain of Seven Steps as a poem in Mandarin, with the word Humankind’ above, on Twitter and the Chinese social media site Weibo.

The ancient poem, which describes conflict in close relationships, is used in primary schools in China to teach children how to get along.

Chinese social media users were confused by the poem and unsure about Musk’s motivation behind the post.

Tesla CEO billionaire Elon Musk, 50, tweeted an ancient Chinese poem on Monday calling for 'peace'

Elon Musk (Tesla CEO and billionaire), 50, tweeted a ancient Chinese poem Monday calling for peace.

The tweet pulled from the The Quatrain of Seven Steps poem in original Mandarin with the word 'Humankind' written above it

The tweet pulled from the The Quatrain of Seven Steps poem in original Mandarin with the word ‘Humankind’ written above it

The fifth century poem, translated into Mandarin from the original Mandarin, tells of the story of two brothers who lived during China’s Three Kingdom period, 192 to 232AD.

Moss Roberts at NYU was a Chinese professor who translated the ancient poem to English. The pot exploded in anger. We sprouted on one root. We are alive and well.

He later liked another translation of the tweet he received in response to Twitter: ‘Humans come from the same ancestor. Why are we so eager destroy each other’ 

The ancient Chinese poem details a story about rivalry between two brothers which is used in the country's primary schools to teach children about getting along

The Chinese ancient poem tells a story about two brothers who are in a fight. It is used in primary schools of the country to teach children how to get along

The story of the poem is about the rivalry of brothers Cao Pi (and Cao Zhi), sons and warlord Cao Cao. 

The older Cao Pi, his father’s successor, wanted to kill the younger Cao Zhi, because he was jealous about his brother’s literary talent. 

Cao Pi made his younger brother write a poem about their brotherhood in seven steps verse. This type of allegorical poem is often attributed to Cao Zhi.

Cao Zhi would be executed if he failed to succeed.

Musk’s poem was produced by his younger brother, who succeeded in his task. Cao Pi was touched and saved his life by his brother’s words. 

Social media users were left confused by the tweet as some attributed it to the rivalry between Musk and World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley who had asked the Tesla CEO to donate $6 billion to help world hunger

The tweet caused confusion on social media as some thought it was due to rivalry between Musk & David Beasley, World Food Program Executive Director. Beasley had asked Musk to donate $6 billion to end hunger around the world.

Others attributed the post to the rivalry between two dog-themed cryptocurrency groups Dogecoin and Shiba Inu

Others blamed the post on the rivalry between two cryptocurrency groups with dog-themed names, Shiba Inu and Dogecoin.

Musk’s motivation for tweeting the poem is still unknown, as both Western and Chinese social media users have left speculation. 

Some speculated that it was related to a recent argument Musk had with program director David Beasley of the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Beasley asked billionaires, including Musk to donate $6 billion to feed 42 million people. Musk agreed that he would donate to the program provided the group could share the ways the money would fight hunger around the globe. 

After some back-and forth online, Beasley stated Monday he wanted Musk to see him in person. It is not clear if Musk agreed. 

Another theory suggested that Musk was referring to the rivalry between two dog-themed cryptocurrency groups Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

Vice reports that Shiba Inu (which was created in rivalry to Dogecoin) recently outperformed it in market value.

Weibo and Twitter users communicated their opinions on Musk’s tweet. Some even offered online translations.

Social media users provided their own translations of Musk's tweets

Musk’s tweets were translated into social media by users who used the platform to share their translations.