ISIL is now in the process of destroying priceless museum artifacts of the Assyrian, Parthian and other Mesopotamian civilizations (see first link and second link). While these two reports focus mostly on ISIL’s destruction of Assyrian artifacts, the first link mentions ISIL is also destroying historical artifacts from the Parthian period. This wanton destruction is a travesty, and it is destroying invaluable relics of mankind’s history in Mesopotamia.
This post focuses on the destruction of the Parthian artifacts and relics because the Parthians were the Asian descendants of some of the ten tribes of Israel which went into exile into Mesopotamia at the hands of Assyrian invaders in the 8th century BC. When the ten tribes went into exile, the Bible records that God had every intention of making their descendants into great and numerous nations. As Israel’s exile was being pronounced by the prophet Hosea, God also inspired Hosea to prophesy that the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel would become vastly greater in population after their exile (Hosea 1:10). Indeed, that verse prophesies the future generations of the ten tribes of Israel would inherit the Abrahamic birthright given by God that Abraham would have descendants as numerous as “the sand of the sea” (see Genesis 22:15-18). Also, Isaiah 14:1-2 prophesied that after going into exile, the descendants of the ten tribes would eventually rise above and rule over the empires that took them (or held them) captive! Those empires were Assyria, Babylon and the Medo-Persian empires. For a time, they were also ruled over by the Seleucid Greek kingdom. The Israelite Parthians began expanding their empire in the 3rd century BC and it lasted until circa 227 AD when it was overthrown by the Sassanian Persians who had been their vassals. They fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 14:2 as they ruled over the people and territories of the empires who had previously held them captive. The northwestern portion of the Parthian empire remained independent for some time, and it was a refuge for fleeing Israelite/Parthians who flowed in a tsunami of migrating refugees through Armenia (ruled by the Parthian royal dynasty) into the Black Sea regions. Because they migrated via the Caucuses Mountains as they migrated into Europe over several centuries, they were called “Caucasians.'” In Parthia and Asia, the Israelites had born such names as the Kermans/Germanii. Sacae/Saka,Gauthei/Getae, etc. As they migrated into Europe, they were called Germans, Saxons, Goths, etc.
The Parthians are also mentioned in the Bible. Parthians were among the devout worshipers of the God of Israel who were in Jerusalem for the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost observance when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Apostles (Acts 2:9). The people who had journeyed to Jerusalem from Media, Elam and Mesopotamia were also all Parthian subjects. Who but the descendents of the ten tribes of Israel would be observing the Holy Days of the Bible? The Wise Men/Magi, mentioned in Matthew 2, who came from the east to worship Jesus when he was a “young child” (verse 9) were Parthian nobility or Senators who would have traveled with vast armed escorts and entourages. The numbers of the Parthians’ armed escorts and entourage scared the entire city of Jerusalem who likely thought they were about to be besieged (verse 2). They had good reason to fear. The Parthian army had driven the Romans out of the Holy Land just decades earlier and Parthia ruled the Holy Land for a number of years. The Bible does not limit the number of the Parthian Wise Men to just three representatives. It is my view that there were at least ten Parthian Wise Men (one for each of the ten tribes of Israel), and my book series cites secular historical sources that top Parthian nobility or generals could (each) be escorted by as many as 1,000 armed heavy cavalrymen. As an affirmation that the Parthian Wise Men were escorted by a vast throng of armed escorts, King Herod treated them with utmost deference (verses 3-12). This would not have happened if the wicked King Herod had been facing only the traditional “three Wise Men” of most Christmas stories.
The full story of the largely-forgotten Parthian Empire, which Rome saw as its co-equal rival in the world, is given in my books: The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel…Found! (available as an downloadable E-book on my homepage), and Parthia-The Forgotten Ancient Superpower (available in print form). Parthia is now remembered by few people in the modern world, as its centuries-long rule as an empire has been all but censored out of history books. I urge you to read one of these books and realize what really happened in the ancient world, as many wars were fought between Parthia and Rome.
It pains me to read that what is left of the Parthian artifacts, statutes of its nobility, etc. are being destroyed by ISIL. In doing so, ISIL is emulating the atrocious behavior of the Iranians who have also destroyed pre-Islamic artifacts, relics, etc. of the Parthians and other Mesopotamian civilizations. Previous posts about Iran’s destruction of Parthian artifacts can be found in the archives of this blog. If you can get a copy of the book, Persian Art: 249 BC-AD 651 The Parthian and Sassanian Dynasties, you will see many examples of Parthian art, statutes of their nobility, etc. Copies of this rare and valuable book may be seen in some major libraries. I cite it often in my book, Parthia-The Forgotten Ancient Superpower. I wonder how many of the Parthian artifacts shown in that book’s many photographs are being destroyed by ISIL.