Enoch, andJubilees, maintained the mysterious location
of paradise, suggesting that it suffused the entire land of Israel or even the whole Creation.34 One ofthe mysteries ofDilmun and Eden was their precise location.
Whether in the direction of the rising sun or between four great rivers, paradise confused any attempts to pin it
on a map. It eluded the control, captivity, or ownership ofany one nation, people, religion, or time. In direct contrast to the wars, economic exploitation, fratricidal divisions, and environmental devastations of empires, it offered experiences and visions ofjustice, of the goodness of ordinary life,
could be experienced as real and of a
vibrant peace. Paradise was described in terms recognizable as earthly life at its best. In these descriptions, it
not as a permanent state ofbeing but as aspects oflife itself. It flourished where people took responsibility for the well-being ofall
and protected the great cycles of life that sustain human life.