February 22, 2008
In a previous blog, I wrote about a “great wall” which was erected along the northeastern border of the Parthian empire. This wall, an ancient engineering marvel, was erected to keep out invaders from central Asia. The link I’ve enclosed below calls this vast wall and water barrier the “red snake” and asserts that it was built by the Sassanian Empire, which followed the fall of the Parthian Empire. I’ve enclosed it for readers to consider the information for themselves and also to make some observations about the link’s information.
The link does acknowledge that other scholars have dated the defensive wall complex to the Parthian period or even as far back as Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, so the scholarly opinions do differ. This story asserts that “The [Sassanian] Persians seem to match, or more than match, their late Roman rivals in army strength, organizational skill, engineering and water management.” It will come as a surprise to many westerners that an Asian Empire could exceed the Romans in water management, given the fame of the Romans with their water aqueducts. Where did the Sassanians get their skills? I think the answer is obvious.
The ancestors of the Sassanians had been subjects and vassals of the Parthian Empire for centuries prior to their revolt against their Parthian masters. The Sassanians, rightly fearing a Parthian comeback, drove the defeated Parthians out of Asia before they could recover their strength and their empire. The Parthians had been greatly weakened by a costly war against the Roman Empire a few years before the Persians revolted. The Parthians won that war against Rome, but the victory proved to be too costly for the Parthians to stop an internal revolt. The Parthians were also famous for their engineering skills, military strength and organizational skills. Since the Persians were Parthian subjects for centuries and their leaders had long been trained in Parthian methods and techniques, I think the early Sassanian Empire learned these skills from their Parthian predecessors. It is my view that the major defensive wall built at the northeastern border region of the Parthian Empire was begun and built by the Parthians and expanded and improved by the Sassanians. The Sassanians had a strong enemy in that direction. The link’s story states that the wall complex “…was a defense system against the White Huns, who lived in Central Asia.” This is worthy of discussion.
As my book, Israel’s Tribes Today, documents, the White Huns were a large Caucasian tribe that lived in Central Asia during the time of the Sassanian Persian Empire. Indeed, they were so large and powerful that they not only were a major rival to the Sassanian Empire, but they also conquered a large swath of the regions we now know as Kashmir and the Punjab region of India. Other names for the White Huns were the Ephthalites, the Hephthalites or the Nephthalites. It is not difficult to see in these terms the name of an Israelite tribe: the tribe of Naphtali, which went into an Asian captivity at the hands of the Assyrians (II Kings 15:29). The biblical account indicates the entire tribe of Naphtali was taken into Asia in one large body. This makes it understandable why the entire body still bore the original tribal name as late as the time of the Sassanian Empire. While the tribe of Naphtali had stayed together in one large mass, some of the other tribes of Israel went into exile in a piecemeal fashion so their tribes were divided and later were known by clan or subtribal names. Further supporting the view that the White Huns/Nephthalites were the Israelite tribe of Naphtali is the fact that one of their capital cities was named Sakala, which included the name of “Isaac” and also continued the traditional name of the “Sacae” or “Saka” Scythians.
These Scythians (along with the Parthians and the Iberians of the Caucasus region) are abundantly documented to be part of the ten tribes of Israel in my book, Israel’s Lost Empires. Josephus wrote that the ten tribes were “beyond Euphrates” and had grown into an “immense multitude” which was beyond numbering by his lifetime in the 1st century AD (Antiquities, XI, V, 2). The term “beyond Euphrates” identified the empires and regions of the Parthians and the Scythians. Both are mentioned in the Bible. Acts 2:9 states the Parthians came to Jerusalem for pilgrimage festivals, and in Colossians 3:11, Paul identifies the Scythians as the opposite of “barbarians.” Why would the Parthians observe some of the biblical festivals in Jerusalem unless they were from the ten tribes of Israel, and why would Paul, trained as a Jewish Pharisee, regard the Scythians as civilized opposites of “barbarians” (also translatable as “foreigners” or “aliens”) unless he know they were a fellow tribe of Israel?
The White Huns of Naphtali were displaced from their ancestral homes when Parthia fell and they stayed in Asia to contest their former lands for centuries after Parthia fell. They were the last Israelite tribe to leave South-central Asia and migrate toward/into Europe. Consider this as well. If just one tribe of the ten tribes of Israel (the Naphtalites) was so strong and numerous that the Sassanian Empire had to build a massive defensive wall to keep them from overrunning Sassanian territory and the Sassanians are described as being equal or stronger than the late Roman Empire, then how large and powerful were the Parthian and Scythian Empires which contained ALL the ten tribes of Israel within their vast borders? After all, Naphtali was not even a leading tribe of the house of Israel. The dominant and most numerous tribes of Israel were Ephraim and Manasseh, which were the “birthright” tribes descended from Joseph. Just one of the “minor” tribes of Israel was so large and powerful that it held its own for many generations against the Sassanians and even conquered part of India before leaving Asia. The only reason the Sassanians were able to assert themselves against their Parthian masters was that the mighty Parthian Empire had lost much of its military strength in a colossal war against Rome (which is rarely or never discussed in modern history texts).
The history of the vast and long-lasting empire of Parthia, which even the Roman writers acknowledged was the equal of the Roman Empire when Rome was at it zenith, has been expunged from the history books. No one today is taught in modern times about the history of one of the largest and most powerful empires in mankind’s history. Why? I think it is because if the history of the Parthian Empire was examined in any depth at all, its Israelite/Semitic culture, names and origins would become obvious to all. That knowledge would powerfully affirm the Bible, so it has been censored out of the secular history texts by those who “do not want to retain God in their knowledge,” as Paul put it in Romans 1:28. If you would like to “retain God in your knowledge” and have your faith in God increased, you can do so by ordering Parthia; The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, at the book links of this website.