And he knew that the Garden of Eden is the holy of holies, and the dwelling of the Lord...
Book of Jubilees 8:18
The mountain of God in Eden was the location of the war of the angels. The Bible has strong images of a mountain top covered with smoke, fire and clouds due to the presence of God as when the children of Israel camped near Mt. Horeb in the Sinai.
In Sumerian lore, Mt. Mashu in the eastern island of Dilmun is the location of the battle between Gilgamesh and Humbaba. The top of Mt. Mashu collapses during the fight with jumping flames, smoke, roaring sounds and flying rocks.
In Ezekial 28, the king of Tyre is likened to Satan, the leader of the rebellious angels on the mountain of God.
You were in Eden,
the garden of God...
You were anointed as a guardian cherub,
for so I ordained you.
You were on the holy mount of God:
you walked among the fiery stones...
Through your widespread trade
you were filled with violence,
and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God
and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
Mt. Mashu is depicted as a mountain with twin peaks between which was the entrance to the underworld and the underground waters of life. Through this entrance the Sun was said to rise. Dilmun itself was located in the farthest East, and to reach it required multiple long journeys by both land and sea.
Shamash the sun god between the peaks of Mashu
After his battle with Humbaba, Gilgamesh meets two scorpion guardians of the gate to the underworld between Mashu's peaks. He persuades them to allow him to venture into the mountain in search of immortality.
Eden also is linked with immortality, in this case, humanity's lost immortality and expulsion from the garden. After the expulsion, God was said to have established a flaming sword that guarded the way to Eden. However God's presence anywhere always seemed to be connected with the image of the fiery mountain:
"The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it. He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him-- the dark rain clouds of the sky. Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced with hailstones and bolts of lightning..."
The churning of the Milky Ocean resulted in the pouring of the life-giving amrita from the flaming Mt. Mandara. In the same way, Mt. Mashu contains the entrance to the waters of life in the underworld region known as the Apsu in Sumerian religion.
Both the traditionalists and the materialists are forced to migrate because of the great volcanic eruptions, but the materialists are fully expelled from the region of the holy mountains in the ensuing competition. And both show up in various far-off locations where they take their battle for supremacy.
Paul Kekai Manansala