The present paper aims to investigate the idea of “elevating the worthy” (shang xian 尚賢) as it appears in the newly found manuscript Zhou xun 周訓. This manuscript is part of the Peking University collection (Beijing daxue cang Xi-Han zhushu 北京大學藏西漢竹書), presumably copied in the first half of the first century b.c.e. In sharp contrast to most recently discovered manuscripts promulgating “elevating the worthy,” the Zhou xun introduces the meritocratic principle to support hereditary power transfer, by positing that the right to rule should be passed on to the most able son of a ruler. I argue that this position served several purposes. First, it provided a solution to the central problem of abdication discourse, namely, the conflict between the principles of “respecting worthies” (zun xian 尊賢) and “loving kin” (ai qin 愛親). Second, this interpretation of “elevating the worthy” entailed a significant extension of the number of potential contenders to the throne, challenging the system of primogeniture, the very cornerstone of political order in early China. This fundamental challenge appears to be deliberate and can be interpreted as an attempt to formulate a new paradigm for the ruling house of Zhou. The complete absence of the idea of Heaven's Mandate (tian ming 天命) from the Zhou xun certainly underscores its radical departure from Zhou conventional claims to power. However, I argue that, given the close association between the Zhou xun and the Lüshi chunqiu 呂氏春秋, it is also plausible that the former's theory was created to justify the Zhou's overthrow by the Qin 秦. In any case, the Zhou xun provides us with new insights into how the idea of “elevating the worthy” was applied to politics in early China.