July 25, 2008
Readers of my books and blogs know that the vast (and often ignored) empire of ancient Parthia was founded and peopled by the ten tribes of Israel after their exile into Asia. Their founding tribes had the same root word consonants of the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, and they had cities named after the Israelite ancestor Isaac and the former Israelite capital city of Samaria. Parthia’s kings were portrayed as bearded Semites on their coins, and the name Parthia itself has a Hebrew etymology. The consonants of Parthia are P-R-TH, but since we get that name from Greek sources and the Greeks sometimes interchanged their “p’s” and “b’s” (i.e. they called the Britannic Isles the Pretanic Isles), the name “Parthia” can be rendered as “Barthia” or “Brithia.” Whatever form the word is given, the consonants are “B-R-TH,” the consonants of the Hebrew word for “Covenant.” The ten tribes of Israel received and possessed in perpetuity the “birthright” blessings given to Abraham’s seed (Genesis 48:14-20), so they were truly the “Covenant” people. The name of Parthia itself proclaims and preserves this fact.
My books and blogs have also cited the evidence given by Josephus that the ten tribes of Israel were extremely numerous and located in Asia in the 1st century AD (this fulfilled a prophecy in Hosea 1:10 given before they went into exile). Josephus specifically wrote that the border of the ten tribes of Israel in his lifetime began at the Euphrates River (Antiquities, XI, V, 2). The Euphrates River was then the well-established border between the Roman and Parthian Empires, so Josephus all but said the ten tribes “lived in Parthia.” There are plenty of “smoking guns” to prove the Parthians were the ten tribes of Israel. If you desire the full list of the evidence, it is contained in my book, Parthia–The Forgotten Ancient Superpower. Readers of my books also know that when the mighty Parthian Empire fell, most of its Semitic peoples fled toward (and into) Europe via the Caucasus Mountains, later becoming known as “Caucasians” because of their migration route. However, the Parthian Empire was so huge that it was logical that not all the Parthians could migrate westward to Europe via once the Sassanian Persians took over Persian territory and blocked that migration route to Parthians located in the easternmost part of Parthia’s empire. Now there is abundant evidence concerning where the easternmost Parthians fled to escape the Sassanian Persians.
The first link below extensively describes the origins, culture and history of the Pallava Empire of Southern India. The link (from a secular source) states that there is a “mountain” of evidence that the Pallavas of India traced their origin to migrating Parthians who came from the region of ancient Iran. The Pallava empire was, at its greatest extent, larger than the combined territories of England, Germany and France. The name “Dravidian” has also been applied to the Pallava Empire. It may be a coincidence or it may be noteworthy that the name “Dravidian” contains the name of David, the most famous king of the ancient Israelites. If the Pallavas began as Parthian Israelites, it would make sense that their kings would be descended from King David, as Jeremiah 33:17-21 promised that King David’s descendants would perpetually rule over the ten tribes of Israel in the future. The Encyclopedia Britannica (1943 Ed., Vol. 7, p. 624) notes that the Dravidians were the “‘Southern’ group of the Brahmans.” As I’ve noted in other articles and blogs, vowels were not written in ancient languages and the consonants would be added in (or deleted) in more recent times. If we add an “A” to the beginning of the word “Brahmin,” you will find the name of “Abraham” almost unchanged from its English form. Abraham sent the sons of his concubines “to the east country” in Genesis 25:6, and the Parthians who fled eastward from the Sassanian Persians likely knew that the people dwelling in ancient India were their distant relatives via Abraham’s lineage. At the very least, the Parthians were familiar with the region of southern India and likely had a colony there already during the Parthian Empire’s heyday. The link below also traces the Pallava dynasty to the Parthian dynasty, so the connection between the Dravidians and the seed of David is further solidified. The link below also notes that “The Pallava alphabet developed from the Aramaic alphabet.” It would only be the exiled tribes of Israel who would have brought the Aramaic alphabet (from the region of the Old Promised Land) with them into Asia.
The Pallava kingdom of southern India began when Parthians migrated from the region of ancient Iran to southern India in the 4th century AD (according to this link) and their empire continued for centuries afterwards. This perfectly fits the Parthian timeline as the Parthian Empire fell in the 3rd century AD and refugees could have consolidated a new position of dominance in southern India by the time of the following century. The link below extensively documents the Parthian origin of the Pallavas, but it is a secular source which does not realize the Israelite origin of the Parthians. It notes similarities between Pallava and Bactrian kings which is also consistent with the findings of my books. The Bactrians were a Scythian (Sacae or Saka) people who lived in the region of modern Afghanistan on the eastern side of Parthia’s empire. It is the easternmost Parthians who would have been cut off from the majority of the migrating Parthians who headed westward into Europe, so a similarity between the Pallava and Bactrian kings further cements their Parthian/Israelite origin. The link below also notes the Sakas and Pallavas were allies.
The Bactrians were named after one of the clans of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim which was called the “Bachrites” (Numbers 26:35). One of the other clans of Ephraim was called the Eranites, from which the modern term “Iran” was derived. The names of the Israelite tribes are found throughout Central Asia in the locations they lived in after their exile, but historians have been remarkably able to miss the obvious connections. In a modern footnote, the name of the last Shah of Iran, who was pro-American, was Reza Pahlavi. The name “Pahlavi” preserved a connection to the ancient Parthians as well as their Pallava cousins in India.
In a sidebar, a modern archeological excavation is now underway at the ruins of a large Parthian fortress which was located, logically enough, near the modern Straits of Hormuz. The story is documented in the second link below, and it confirms the ancient Parthians dominated and controlled this key strategic and commercial waterway. My book has information documenting that the Parthians had a rich seagoing tradition in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim region, a fact not stressed in the Roman accounts about Parthia because the Romans only fought Parthia along the western fringe of its empire. Since the Parthians controlled sea access from the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean in the time of the Parthian Empire, it is logical that many of the easternmost Parthians fled to southern India via ships departing from Parthian ports before they could be seized by the Sassanian Persians who overthrew the Parthians in the 3rd century AD. It is a testimony to the real power and size of the Parthian Empire that a small portion of their fleeing refugee population founded an empire on the Indian subcontinent which was larger than France, Germany and England combined!
Even though the immense size of the Parthian Empire can be known easily via Greek, Roman and Chinese sources, the August, 2008 issue of National Geographic magazine grossly diminishes the size and importance of the Parthian Empire in its cover story in the history of Iran. Indeed, it barely even mentions the Parthian period of Iranian history. The article dwells mainly on the Achaemenid Persian Empire which (according to a map accompanying this magazine) lasted from “ca 550-330 BC.” The map supplement includes smaller maps of the empires of ancient Iran which acknowledges the Parthian Empire lasted from “ca 247 BC to AD 224,” a period of time over twice as long as the Achaemenid Empire! Yet National Geographic barely mentions the Parthians in the text of its article. In a further insult to the real size of Parthia’s empire, its small map of Parthia’s size in Central Asia grossly understates the real size of the Parthian Empire. Even though we saw in the second link (see below) that modern secular historians are aware that the largest Parthian fort found so far was proximate to the strategic Straits of Hormuz where the Persian Gulf joins the Indian Ocean, the National Geographic map indicates the Parthian Empire stopped hundreds of miles from the site of their largest ancient fort! The real size of the Parthian Empire was about the size indicated on their map for the Sassanid Empire which took over the empire founded by the Parthians. Most history books about the Parthian Empire show it to be far larger than the map located in the National Geographic magazine map supplement (which is just plain wrong). George Rawlinson’s famous book about Parthia, The Sixth Oriental Monarchy” (see map following p. 78) shows Parthia’s empire once included all of the territory of modern Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and parts of Uzbekistan, Turkey and Pakistan. It included all the shoreline on the northern part of the Persian Gulf and even included territory almost as far east as the Indus River. Compare that to the shriveled little map of Parthia in its map supplement!
I’ll conclude with a quote from a recent mailing I received from the History Book Club. It featured a new book on the history of Iran, and its review mentioned “the too-often-overlooked Parthians…[who] ruled over vast areas of western Asia and left a lasting imprint there.” (p. 18 of their August, 2008 mailing). Someone ought to tell the National Geographic magazine that the Parthian Empire was an ancient superpower which has been almost completely overlooked by modern history texts. Could it be that Parthia is ignored because its origins, language, nomenclature, dynasty and culture document that it was the empire of the ten tribes of Israel and that its existence fulfilled biblical prophecies in Isaiah 14:2 and Hosea 1:10 and confirmed the Bible?