My position would be to say “more” … but not in the way you expected.
I think one of the weaknesses of Genesis is that it appears to reveal an “aesthetic” that the Temple Priests would not have encountered until they met the Persians!
Almost all the ancient cultures the Egyptians knew about had an admiration and sense of awe about snakes and so-called serpents. The whole notion of making a snake the author of or instigator of sin is very much a Persian one. The Zoroastrian priests taught that killing snakes each day was a “good deed”.
The split gender “theme” of Adam and Eve is also a topic with great affinity with Persian mythology; they were the ones to influence the Greeks with the idea that the first humans were dual-gendered creatures.
The Persians, and the Indo-European tribes encountered as Scythians, were quite prone to treating the priesthood as a special caste. So this notion that the Levites were the priests… and ONLY the Levites were the priests would have been something perfectly consistent with the Persian hegemony that the Jews lived under for 200 years. The Persians had their “Magi” of the Median culture, and the Hindu (Indo-Europeans who had a strong influence on Persians) had their Brahmans.
The book Esther is most striking because it describes an attempt to wipe out a group of outsiders… namely the Jews… which at the last moment became a different group being slaughtered. It just so happens, Herodotus (who lived amongst the Persians) tells the story of the “Magaphonia”, which can be roughly translated as “The Slaughter of the Magi”. The priests tried to take over the government early in Persia’s existence as an empire, which triggered not only a day of bloodshed against all Magi… but also an annual holiday that celebrated the defeat of the Magi… upon which sensible Magi stayed in doors in order to avoid inciting a riot.
But perhaps the most interesting point of contact between the Jewish Priests and Persian culture comes unexpectedly in the book of Exodus! I know we were talking about Genesis, but it helps to explain the reason for even suspecting Persian influence if we can show credible Persian influence in other books.
What could be more modern that the use of cannabis? The Scythians became quite well known for their tents where hemp was burned and the men inside “communed” with whatever they thought they found in the clouds of burning incense.
In the Old Testament, we find the use of the term “Qanabesm”, and more frequently the abbreviation of that term, “Besem”. Strong and Hebrew treats the word as two words: Strongs H1314 = Besem; Strong’s H7070 = Qaneh.
In Exodus 30:23, we read "Take thou also unto thee principal spices, (besem/H1314) of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet (besem/H1314) cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of [qaneh-besem] sweet (Besem/H1314)) calamus (Qaneh/H7070) two hundred and fifty shekels…
Ezekiel, which was written during Persian rule, refers to Qaneh/H7070 as an incense or spice 12 times. The only other book to use the term so frequently in the same sense is Exodus, where the “spice” is introduced!
The book of Songs uses the term “basam” as a reference to “sweet smell” or “spice”. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon refers to it as an “odorous shrub, like the balsam tree”.
Genesis uses the term “Bsmt” six times (pronounced Basmath or Bashemath) as the feminine form of “Bsm”, meaning “spice”, and is a woman’s name.
Perhaps one of the most unintentionally amusing parts of Exodus is Exodus 40:34-35 -
“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
Moses and his brother (and others?) were in a smoke-filled Tent… and apparently threw too much “Qanabesem” onto the fire! The “Glory of the Lord” was overwhelming them, and they had to exit the tent to catch their breath!