The Reincarnation of Nero in Parthia

Nero was a malignant man, so hated and feared that when he suddenly died, most people in the Roman empire could not believe that he was really gone.

So certain were the people that he would come back to haunt them again, the citizens of Rome precipitated a rumor which quickly spread throughout the world that Nero was going to rise again in the east -- in Parthia -- where he would gather an immense eastern army and march against Rome and retake the throne of his former empire by force.

This rumor became so rooted in Roman and Christian folklore, that it has never died. Although almost 2000 years have passed since his death, the persistance of the story is an indication that the Holy Spirit could well have been responsible for its development and propagation. After all, Nero was the sixth head of the Beast of Revelation and the book promises that the disastrous eighth head which lies ahead will be a reincarnation of one of the previous six.

For this reason, the continuing rumor concerning Nero's reincarnation needs to be examined.

The Parthians were a nomadic people that migrated down from the northern grasslands of the Soviet Union to occupy the area currently called Iran. From there they expanded westward to the Euphrates, eventually occupying much of southern Iraq as well -- taking control of both Media and Persia.

Their conquest of Mesopotamia occurred at about the same time that the Romans of Italy were just coming to power. The Parthians were famous and most feared for their deadly use of archery -- a weapon they used with far greater potency than any other nation in history.

There is a significant parallel here, of course, to the massive use of archery described so often in the prophetic descriptions of the the rise to power of the East in the warfare of the last days.

For instance, according to Ezekiel, at the time of the end, the Lord will say to Gog, "

When you attack the mountains of Israel I will break the bow in your left hand and dash the arrows out of your right." (Ez.39:3).

The flight of thousands of arrows arching up through the air and falling down on their victims mimics the trajectory and flight of rocket warfare. The modern equivalent of bow and arrow, of course, is guided missles and their mechanical launchers.

The only difference between the two is the type of bow and the type of arrow -- and what lies at the tip, of course. Today, terrifying explosives, chemical weapons and nuclear bombs have replaced the iron arrowheads used by the Parthians.

These prophecies imply that the armies of the East which are to arise out of Media and Persia in the last days will be experts in the use of rockets and missles.

The Parthians were fierce fighters who were such skilled archers that they were able to utterly wipe out the massive Roman army under Crassus at the Euphrates river. This was the only defeat the great Roman army ever suffered, and it was catastrophic, coming at the same Euphrates river described in all the prophecies of the last days as the site where the East will commence its destruction of the West.

The rout of this army under a withering barrage of Parthian arrows explains why the Roman citizens had such a great fear of these eastern warriors: they were the only people on the planet able to soundly defeat a great Roman army at the height of its power.

Still numbed by this defeat, the Roman fear of a reincarnated 'Nero' rising from the dead to lead a Persian army against Rome evoked great consternation among the people of Italy in the early days of the Church. The implication was that the people of Italy would be powerless to stop the advance of this 'Parthian Nero' when he returned to reclaim his Roman throne.

John's prophecy in the Book of Revelation added fuel to the rumor and probably accounts for its continuance to this day:

"The beast you have seen, once was, now is not; he is yet to come up from the Abyss, but only to go to his destruction." (Rev.17:8).

John wrote these words about 20 years after Nero died; therefore, the rumor of the reincarnation of Nero and this prophecy in the Book of Revelation predicting the return of one of the six heads, are closely related.

There is precedent in Christianity for this sort of reincarnation: The Jews expected Elijah the prophet to reappear in Israel and precede the Messiah, but when Jesus revealed that John the Baptist was in fact the Elijah of the prophecy, it confirmed that one person can prefigure another as far as God is concerned in Biblical prophecy.

See Also:

1. The Parthians In Scripture and Prophecy

2. 'The Last Days of Babylon, Chapter 23, 'Mark of the Beast'

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