This is a rough translation of what I believe to be the meaning of the third chapter of the Book of Genesis. I worked from the King James Version of the Bible but took reference from a number of other translations and sought the definitions of words originally used (via Biblehub). I will be adding to and refining this translation as time goes on.Ervin Welsh
Additionally, I will be expounding on some of the choice words I’ve used to allude to some of the meanings in the Biblical text (not yet explored here). The Biblical text employs multiple literary devices that paint distinct pictures along separate trajectories but all of which arrive at the same point.
I’ll explore these metaphors and allusions in time as well but have conveyed here (as best I can for now) what I have gathered so to be the moral/psychological significance of the third chapter and this considering like significance as it develops throughout the book.
3:1 And those people were more crafty than any of the others. And they said to themselves, is there really anything with which we should not preoccupy ourselves?
3:2 We’ve taken an oath to preoccupy ourselves with only that which brings joy and pleasure
3:3 We vowed not to pursue knowledge of the way by which serenity and misery come about, are maintained and are thwarted (“the subject of ‘knowledge'”). The Judges argue that not only shouldn’t we preoccupy ourselves therewith, we should not so much as turn our attention thereto, because we will not be satisfied with just a cursory inquiry, we will be consumed by discontentment with the glance, and will need more knowledge.
3:4 Then they said to themselves that they will not grow discontented,
3:5 The Judges merely say this because they know that when we begin to inquire into these matters, we will become as wise as they are; fully acquainted with true joy, such as those they have withheld for themselves and the methods by which they’ve secured them at our expense.
3:6 And then they perceived that knowledge was a desirable subject with which to preoccupy their time (having conceived of the immediate benefits thereof); and that it would bring insight into that which supported wisdom; and they began to pursue knowledge and preoccupied their time therewith.
3:7 And awareness of thoughts and feelings resulted. And they reckoned that they had grown in wisdom and they began to guard themselves, lest they be found out.
3:8 When their mind was not occupied with a flurry of thoughts, they heard their conscience calling. But the clung to their thoughts and forsook the beseeching of the Judges which they were recalling.
3:9 And their conscience called, saying why do you forsake me.
3:10 And they said to themselves, I am too wise to be fooled by the Judges.
3:11 And they said to themselves, but how are we sure we are wise (like the Judges)? Is it because we preoccupied ourselves with the subject we vowed not to? And they said to themselves that it is because their eyes have been opened.
3:13 And the Judges spoke with the people about their motives for pursuing knowledge and they said they felt compelled to do so — they could not help themselves.
3:14 And the Judges said to them, because you have preoccupied yourself with knowledge, you will suffer more from it than do those who merely allow their observations to pass. Streams of consciousness will run through your mind and as your understanding increases, so will your hypotheses. And you will be consumed with the need to understand human nature.
3:15 And your ambitions will be in contention. And the fruits of your endeavours will be in conflict. The ambitions that are merely creeping in now, will completely devour you but, eventually, you will overcome it.
3:16 And they said to themselves, as our concepts increase, so will our concerns. And our ideas will come into fruition but only with vexation of spirit. And we will long to rest from our mind; and we will be able to do so eventually.
3:17 And they said to themselves, that because their ideas are of their own conception (not that of the — perhaps other — Judges), it will be difficult to convince the other peoples. And the people’s response will be disheartening.
3:18 Subjects for inquiry and matters for observation will well up and spring fourth; and vanity will be among these, our preoccupations.
3:19 By troubling our mind with these things we will destroy the very joy we pursue, until we return to the garden of joy we left. For out of misery we began this pursuit and unto misery we will return if we continue this course.
3:20 And they called their way the way of life (i.e. the tree of life) — the path to serenity.
3:21 And they robed themselves with wisdom.
3:22 And the Judges said about their dissenters, look, these people have preoccupied themselves with knowledge, lest they choose the way of which we are aware but have taken an oath not to pursue, let us allow them to go their own way.
3:23 Thereafter, the Judges urged them to go in peace and have their way — preoccupied with understanding as they were bent on being.
3:24 The Judges allowed those who were discontented to pursue their thoughts (and the fruits thereof) and they put at the head of their city, the contented; those who advocated for the contented; and those who advocated for the way of the city.