Were The Parthians ISRAELITES?
Parthia is first mentioned by Persia in the sixth century B.C. Rawlinson says "they were SCYTHES ... the SCYTHIAN character of the Parthians is asserted in the strongest terms by the ancient writers" (Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, p.20). Parthians were considered "EXILES" by early historians (ibid. p.19). The Parthians "passed from the dominion of the ASSYRIANS to that of the MEDES ... to a similar position under the PERSIANS" (ibid. p.26) just as Israel was enslaved by ASSYRIA and relocated to "the cities of the MEDES." Then Jerome (A.D. 331-420), says in his notes on Hosea, "Unto this day the TEN TRIBES are subject to the kings of the PERSIANS, nor has their captivity ever been loosed." And again he says, "The TEN TRIBES inhabit at this day the cities and mountains of the MEDES" (tom. VI, p.7. 80). Pliny mentions "the two superpowers, Rome and PARTHIA" (5:88). The Parthian Empire rivaled the Roman Empire in its size and power, ruling from the Euphrates to India from 64 B.C. to 225 A.D.
The Euphrates River was Parthia's western border dividing it from the Roman Empire (p.83, Langer's World History). When Josephus said the TEN TRIBES are "beyond Euphrates" it was tantamount to saying "in PARTHIA." In 65 A.D. King Agrippa tried to persuade the Jews not to rebel against Rome by saying, "Those of your own nation that dwell in ADIABENE" won't come to your assistance in a war (Wars 2:16,4). ADIABENE is the Greek name for MEDIA and PARTHIA. PARTHIANS are included among the faithful in Acts 2:9. The "Medes, and Elamites" and Mesopotamians are also included. These are the places the LOST TEN TRIBES were taken as captives and Peter calls them "Ye men of ISRAEL" (Acts 2:22). A delegation of "Magi" from PARTHIA (Strabo 11:9:3) came to worship Jesus with royal gifts. "When Herod, the king, had heard these things, he was TROUBLED, and ALL JERUSALEM with him" (Matt.2:3). Jesus was of the ruling family of Phares (Matt.1:3) and therefore was a candidate for the thrones of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA. Rulers of both PARTHIA and SCYTHIA had names incorporating the word PHARES or PRS (Pharesmenes; Gondophares; Phraates, Phraortes, Phraataces) indicating the ARSACIDS (Parthia's ruling family) were of David's line (1 Chr.3:17-24). PARTHIA'S first king and the city of his coronation were named after Isaac (Gen.21:12). The king was ARSACES and the city was ASAAK (Encyc. Brit. 11th, 20:870). An east PARTHIAN province was called SACASTANA (Saxon). The first capital city of PARTHIA was named DARA after the grandson of Judah "Dara" (1 Chr.2:6). PARTHIAN rulers throughout all its history were members of this one family -- the ARSACIDS. Yes, "David shall never want (lack) a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel" (Jer. 33:17). The scepter was given to Judah (Gen.49:10). When Satan offered Christ the thrones of the world if he would worship him (Matt.4:8-10), this was a very real possibility. The apostles asked in Acts 1:6, "Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" Also when Herod received the"Magi" he had to use caution. PARTHIA had ruled Jerusalem and Palestine from 40 to 38 B.C. (Rawlinson's Ancient History, p.485) and there was a quasi-peace in existence with rival PARTHIA. When the Magi asked, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews?" Herod was insulted because he thought he was king of the Jews. But Rome let Jesus alone to speak and travel as he wished even though he sometimes stirred up a commotion. Pilate even asked "Are you a king?" and allowed him to defend himself, finally giving the responsibility to Herod to try and avoid sentencing an innocent relative of PARTHIA'S emperor. The apostle John in the book of Revelation referred to the returning Jesus Christ as "the KING of KINGS" (Rev.19:16) which was a traditional PARTHIAN title for monarchs at the time John wrote (Brit. 21:215) indicating Jesus would inherit the throne of David in PARTHIA when he returns. Changing "P" to "B" we get BARTHIAN or BRITAIN.
Josephus originally wrote his Wars of the Jews in HEBREW for the PARTHIANS. He said, "I have proposed ... for the sake of such as live under the government of the Romans, to translate those books in the Greek tongue, which I formerly composed in the language of our country (HEBREW), and sent to the upper barbarians (PARTHIANS) beyond Euphrates" (Preface 1-2). Rawlinson says, "Josephus ... regarded the PARTHIANS as familiar with the HEBREW ... and wrote his History of the Jewish War in his own native tongue, before he put out his Greek version, for the benefit especially of the PARTHIANS among whom he declares he had many readers" (Sixth Oriental Monarchy, p.424).