Many English translations refer to the sea that the Israelites cross in Exodus as the “Red Sea.” The English follows the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, which both have “Red Sea” (ἐρυθρὰν θάλασσαν; Mare Erythrae). In Hebrew, though, the body of water is called “Yam Suf” (ים סוף), which literally means, “Sea of Reeds.”

The idea that the so-called “Red Sea” was actually a “Reed Sea” is known in Jewish tradition. Rashi (1040-1105) states that the sea was not the large inlet of the Indian Ocean that we call the “Red Sea,” but rather a “pond” or “marsh” (אגם) filled with “reeds” (קנים). Rashi’s note aligns with the ancient Egyptian word sufi, which described the marshlands of the Egyptian Delta. Still, the Bible also uses “Yam Suf” to refer to what we know as the “Red Sea” today: “King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion Geber… on the shore of the Red Sea (ים סוף; yam suf), in the land of Edom” (1 Kgs 9:26). Yet, this Red Sea “in the land of Edom” could not be the same body of water that the Israelites crossed leaving Goshen. From a geographical perspective, rather than crossing the “Red Sea,” it is more likely that the Israelites crossed a marshy “Reed Sea” in northeastern Egypt. In certain parts of the wetlands in the ancient Egyptian Delta, the bodies of water were large and deep enough for people to drown in — think in terms of lakes with lots of reeds, rather than muddy swamps that one could walk through. Egyptian mythology contains references to the marshlands as “chaos waters” that are the basis for primordial creation — deep, unruly waters in Egyptian thought. Exodus doesn’t preclude “Yam Suf” being both full of reeds, and being big enough to need divine assistance in order to cross.

While geographical debates must remain speculative, there is a much more important reason to translate ים סוף as “Sea of Reeds”. When the baby Moses escaped from Pharaoh, his mother put him in a basket and “placed it among the reeds (סוף) by the riverbank” (Exod 2:3). Moses’ first escape from Pharaoh through the “reeds” foreshadows Israel’s escape from Pharaoh through a sea of “reeds” . Moses’ experience among the reeds in his infancy anticipates his ultimate calling to lead God’s people to freedom.

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138 COMMENTS

  1. Frankly, that makes little to no sense at all of the rest of the story: why would a marsh need to be parted for the children of Israel to cross it? And beyond that, how would it drown the Pharaoh’s army, and chariot teams? Simple logic says the water had to be at least 6 or 7 feet deep to do that. Marshes are usually spongy mud, which would be avoided as a place to cross, to avoid getting stuck; but wouldn’t serve to be deep enough to drown horses and grown men.

      • check out the work of James Hoffmeier. Satellite photos show the Mediterranean Sea extended 30 miles further inland. The lakes were connected by natural and man made canals.It is conceivable that also affected the depth of the marshes they crossed. Hoffmeier is a great resource

    • With respect to Dr Nicholas, Sandra Lee Smith is right according to the Scriptures and Josephus Antiquities book 2 XV1 3-4. It was indeed called the sea of reeds and there we see something of the almighty strength and power of our great God.

    • Hi Sandra. Thanks for your response. In certain parts of the wetlands in the ancient Egyptian Delta, the marshes were large and deep enough for people to drown in — think in terms of lakes with lots of reeds in them, rather than muddy swamps that one could walk through. Egyptian mythology contains references to the marshes as “chaos waters” that are the basis for primordial creation — large, chaotic bodies of water in Egyptian thought. Exodus doesn’t preclude “Yam Suf” being both full of reeds, and being big enough to need divine assistance in order to cross.

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    • That’s exactly what I was thinking. They would have had to cross at a different location of the sea than the marsh where Moses was put as a baby.

    • Another example of the blind leading the blind. Satan has been allowed to influence the translation of the various Bibles in order to disguise the truth of Y’hovah. Pi haChirot (mouth of the channels) is the mouth of the stretch of water known today as the Strait of Tiran where Yisra’el crossed Yam Suph (Sea of Reed) to the land of Mid’yan (modern day Saudi Arabia). The island of Tiran was known as Ba’al Ts’phon and Mig’dol was a watch tower on the hill behind the camp of Yisra’el. Baál Ts’phon means ‘lord of north’.

      • I have heard it said that Yam Suf refers to Lake Timsah, near Goshen. The “strong east wind” refers to a tidal bore–a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has visited Canada’s Bay of Fundy. As the tide is coming in (waters rising from low- to high-tide), a steady wind holds back the waters until their weight overcomes it and they rush in to shore. The professor who taught this also taught that the Tradition calls a “miracle” any occurrence that does what G*D’s people need it to do, when they need it. It needn’t be unnatural.

    • Sh’mot 14:21 Y’hovah sent a strong east wind all of the night and he made the sea for being dry. The strong east wind was cold and it caused an ice bridge which allowed the Yis’raéli to cross before the sun came up. Mits’rayim was drowned when the ice bridge was broken up. Sh15:4-5 confirms Mits’rayim sank in Yam Suph.

    • Exactly, this kind of insinuation irritates the daylights out of me. The Bible states over and over it was waters and ‘they sank to the depths’ and ‘Pharao and his army drowned’. Call it Red or Reed, I dont care but DEEP WATERS it was!!

      • Hi Annamarie. Thanks for your response. You’re right that the text clarifies that the waters were deep; no need to think of the Reed Sea (wherever it might have been geographically) as being a shallow body of water.

        • I’m surprised that no one has referenced this very recent archaeological find at the at the bottom of Gulf of Suez that supports some kind of ancient Egyptian military action The introduction to the article reporting this follows: Suez | Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib.

    • Right on Sandra! There is no joy in trying to take the miracle out of the “hand of the Lord” that Mozes said to stand and see.

    • Does this mean that the version that the water separated and left a dry lad was false. Could this also mean that the miracle of separation of the water never happened? that the Egyptians were never swept away by the waters? Call it red or reed sea , but the Israelite’s were saved and the Pharaoh and his people perished.

      • Hi, John. The miracle of the water separating is not in question. The only question is: Which body of water did God separate? Your last sentence is absolutely right: whichever body of water is was doesn’t change the fact (on which the text is very clear) that the Israelites were saved and Pharaoh’s army perished.

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    • Sandra, hi. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg here. Dr. Schaser later decided to include his later response to the comments below into the body of the post, so kindly reread it and see if it would not make more sense to you now.

    • National Geographic says that the east wind blowing all night dried and harden the mud forming a land bridge. For them to cross , that would account for the Israelites drawing nurishment from the waters as they crossed.

  2. Just curious…assuming it was the Sea of Reeds rather than the much larger Red Sea, which is the greater miracle: 1) The entire Israelite nation crossing it on dry land, or; 2) the entire Egyptian Army being covered and drowned in it? Thanks and make it a great day in The Lord!

  3. I’ve heard this theory before, but I do have a question, (well at least one). 1. In Exodus 14:22 it describes a wall of water on the right and left as the Israelites passed through. Is the Reed Sea deep enough to separate with a “wall” 2. The Reed sea isn’t very large, would escaping through it be advantageous rather than just going around it? For the Red sea or even the Gulf of Aqaba to be the location I will admit that a wind that could part 200 feet of water would also be too blustery to walk through.

    • Thanks for your question, Bill. I actually never said that Yam Suf was a “marsh” — Rashi says it was a “pond” or “marsh”; I said it was a “marshy sea.” I also never said it was “shallow.” Think in terms of a large lake that also contains marshy areas and reeds.

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      • It actually corresponds very well with the possibility that Pharoh’s army was destroyed by a tsunami from the explosion from Mt Thera (Santorini) that also wiped out the Minoa.

      • This will leave the readers more confused. between the truth and the false. He is always true and we are wrong. He saved them and that’s all.

  4. I agree, Sandra. The Israelites escaping through the Red Sea as the waters part? Or the entire Egyptian army (plus horses drowning in a pond of knee-to-waist deep water? Both pretty impressive miracles, but I still go with the first one.

  5. I agree, Sandra. The Israelites escaping through the Red Sea as the waters part? Or the entire Egyptian army, plus horses, drowning in a pond of knee-to-waist deep water. Both rather impressive miracles, but I still go with the first one.

  6. This is the first article here on IBC that I disagree with. The Hebrew people left Egypt when they crossed the Red Sea, and shortly after arrived at Mt. Sinai “in Arabia” (Galatians 4:25). The Arabian peninsula, during the time of the Exodus, was still part of Egypt. Therefore, *geographically* the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea makes much more sense as the crossing point.

    • I agree with Sidney!!! By using a literal Jewish translation to change the course of History? The Gulf of Aqaba… where history have records… research on it… it may enlighten us…

      • If the Israelites were to cross the Red Sea which was divided by two sea walls, to cross over onto the other side, the road through would need to be solid to allow for one million people and their possessions to travel on (not muddy). Besides the Bible speaks of the sea before them and mountains all around with no way to escape. Besides how can the mighty army of Egypt drown in swallow muddy water and what about the remains of their chariots. Please give us the true story as it is written in God’s holy book.

    • Thanks, Sidney. Yes, the Gulf of Aqaba has been one of a handful of options according to biblical scholars.

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      • Dear Dr. Schaser, As you are well aware the Hebrew language has no vowels. Is it possible that the text should be read “yam soph” instead of “yam suph”? Soph or sof, in Hebrew means “end.” That would make it the “Sea of the End.” The sea at the end of the end of the Sinai Peninsula. Perhaps the Gulf of Aqaba? That would make the exodus crossing fit the Biblical narrative much more realistic?

        • Hi Dr. Owens. Thanks for your question. The idea that the term should read “sof,” (i.e., “end”) is indeed attested in Jewish tradition. Ibn Ezra notes that some read Yam Suf as Yam “Sof” and therefore interpret the sea as the one “at the end of the world.” However, Ibn Ezra immediately retorts that this reading is a “big mistake” because, according to him, the sea at the “end of the world” is the Mediterranean. While “sof” is known from antiquity, scholars are basically agreed that we should follow the Masoretic “suf.”

  7. Samuel Sostre If a marsh doesn’t fit the description found in Exodus 14, it fits even less with the second version given in Exodus 15: “The Song of the Sea”. In this version of the event, the Egyptians are somewhere on the surface of the sea – maybe in boats – and an apparent storm or something other “casts them into the sea” and “they drop to the bottom like stones”. This suggests a significant depth of the waters.

  8. Actually, a more plausable explanation (which follows the Biblical account better) is that Moses led the Israelites across to the Syrian peninsula and down through the Wadi Watir, ending up on Nuweiba beach; where they crossed on a gently sloping natural land bridge that goes 8 miles due east to a wide area in Arabia. This land bridge’s floor is made up of silt that could easily be walked upon with relative ease. There is also archaeological evidence of odd coral formations in the area that resemble chariot hubs and wheels.

  9. Absolutely I agree with Sandra it makes no sense and that’s why the competent translators translated as they did!

  10. One Smith to another! You are quite right. I the research on this subject for myself. Suggested reading: The Lost Sea of the Exodus: A modern Geographical Analysis by Glen A. Fritz. Have you Bible handy so you can follow the references to reed, marsh, etc. Fritz also tells us what was going on geographically thousands of years ago — important.

  11. Actually, the more plausible explanation is that Moses took the Israelites down through the Syrian peninsula, through the Wadi Watir, and onto Nuweiba beach on the Gulf of Aquaba. At this point, there rises a gently sloping natual land bridge that runs 8 miles due east to a flat land area on the Arabian side. The floor is made of silt. The are is devoid of corral except for odd-shaped formations that resemble the remains of chariot wheels and hubs. There is also a “guilded” chariot wheel located there.

    • clearly, that was the place. Also at that place there is an area of melted stones which would be consistent with the pillar of fire. How else is to be explained the remnants of the Egyptian army under the Red Sea at that place? Why is there even any dispute over it; the evidence is quite strong. The land bridge you mention is an underwater land bridge that is only about 100 feet deep there rather that the much deeper water north and south of that point.

    • Thanks, Mark. The Gulf of Aqaba certainly has been an option within the biblical scholarly discussion.

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    • I agree with Mark. There is an excellent book called The Exodus Case by Moller that contains many details Mark highlights. It includes photos that seem clearly, not resembles, chariot wheels, parts of horse skeletons. Also there is a stone column on each shore that closely resemble others attributed to Solomon’s reign. It also notes that on the Saudi Arabian side the mountain that fits the description of Mt. Sinai which the Bedouins call Moses Mountain.

  12. I agree with Sandra. And a sea of reeds would be quite the challenge to cross, even if dried out for the passage – and there were over 2 million Hebrews and their cattle and sheep and treasures. But then how do they cross the Red Sea in a few hours?

  13. I don’t understand this either. If it weren’t a real sea why did Miriam sing in celebration about the “horse and rider thrown into to sea” (to drown)? And why would Almighty do something as underwhelming as drying a marsh after all the signs and wonders He performed for all to see – inexplicable plagues on the enemy, manna from heaven, water from rocks, cloud by day for shade, fire by night for warmth, shoes and clothing that never wore out in 40 years of daily use and so on….

    • Hi Tami. Thanks for your comments. So, I didn’t say that Yam Suf was a marsh. Rashi says it may have been an אגם, which could be translated into English as “pond” or “marsh.” Also, try not to think in terms of a tiny, muddy marsh, but rather of a lake that contains marshy areas including reeds.

    • I Just believe the King James version of the story that’s what my spirit tells me because if they went through the the read with horses cattles children’s babies old people’s and they made it across it still was a miracle to me it doesn’t matter was it we Reeder the Red Sea is still was a miracle and that’s my belief and Pharaoh’s Army was grounded

  14. Maybe it does make sense. Flocks and pedestrians can get through wet ground by exercising caution. Armored chariots and war horses, not so much.

  15. I am a single man in his mid 40s. I lost everything i had except wanting to learn how we all came about to be. Personally, I’m Roman Catholic. But there is much more to learn about our roots and the land/nation of God’s chosen people Israel. Can you help me in any way to pursyew your courses? Its really all I have now. Please.

  16. Hi Sandra, it makes every sense if you know places like Knysna, here in the Cape in South Africa.The tidal ebb and flow from the Indian Ocean mimicks exactly what is suggested above -except in this case the Mediterranean.

  17. Hi all. This really made a sense. The archeologist told that Moses received commandments not at Sinai mountain but Arabian Mountain. From Land of Goshen to Gulf of Gulf of Aqaba instead of Gulf of Sinai.

    • Hi Danny. Thanks for your response. The idea that the term should read “sof,” (i.e., “end”) is attested in Jewish tradition. Ibn Ezra notes that some interpret the sea as the one “at the end of the world,” but then says that this is a “big mistake,” because the sea at the “end of the world” is the Mediterranean Sea. So, it’s discussed in the ancient sources. Thanks again.

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      • There had to be a reason why the Septuagint translators used the Term Red Sea which would have been familiar to their Greek audience – The Black Sea in the North, The Red Sea in the South sandwiches the Mediterranean in the Middle hence the name. It also conforms to the location of Ebion- Gezer, located at the Northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba or the “end of the sea”. The exodus occurring at the northern portion of the Gulf of Suez would qualify as the “end of the sea” and satisfy the other reader’s concerns, except the skeptics.

        • Hi Danny. Thanks for your response. The Gulf of Aqaba has certainly been a common option in biblical scholarship.

  18. I must beg to differ on some details. And, I agree with others who have disagreed. First, the issue of an entire Egyptian army with horses and chariots drowning in a marshy Sea of Reeds. Somewhat more important is this – as an Archaeologist of the Mid East (with a good deal of study of ancient Egypt and the Exodus, I can tell you that every “sea” and tributary in N. (or “lower Egypt”) is surrounded by reeds – thus plenty of materials for papyrus making, B. H. Miner, MA, MHS, Ph.D.

    • Thanks for your response, Bruce. Good to hear that the seas and tributaries of lower Egypt are surrounded by reeds. Thus, the sea that the Israelites crossed could have been any host of bodies of water, rather than the Red Sea.

  19. Seems like a lot of effort to say what exactly? Is this just an effort for imaginary big brains to make a name for themselves? I can’t understand why they would have needed God? Steve Dollar

  20. It is not at all far-fetched. The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Succoth. Ex12:37. Rameses is far north…beyond the big red sea. And there is a body of water in the area and further south, a waterway from the Red sea. I think the “Reed sea” is quite plausible. Besides, God could perform his miracles in either…red or reed sea. Nothing is to hard for him. It is us humans who want to make sense of everything. God is God. He could drown the entire Egyptians army and horses in 2mm of water if he chose to.

  21. Let us all be reminded that we walk by faith and not by sight. I feel saddened that someone would suggest this to be “underwhelming.” It is an awesome thought that God could drown an entire army in a marsh.

  22. The comments I read reminds me of my grammar school days. T he topic rage of the day was (I’m 67 now) how could Mary conceive a child without intercourse. I think in time, God will reveal it. Our Bible tells us not to be sidetracked by debates that lead to strife and discord. So let us wait and see how GOD will show how this miracle came to pass

  23. I have to agree with Dr. Nicholas here as I have seen a computer simulation of the Exodus parting of the Reed Sea on the “Secrets.Of.The.Bible.S01E09.Parting.Of.The.Red.Sea.” It is in the last ten minuets of the show. Very convincing.

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  24. Tell me why was Pharoah’s wheels fpund in the Red Sea then? I watched 2 programs on tv One stating your words and another showed Pharoah’s wheels in the bottom of the Red Sea.Barnacles would not stick to his Gold spokes They also had only 4 spokes as the others had 5

    • Hi Joe. I do recall a story a few years back saying that archeologists had found Egyptian chariot wheels and human remains in the Red Sea, but that story is now known to be fraudulent. These kinds of claims pop up every so often, but they end up being fabricated or the information is misrepresented.

  25. There was a very interesting Discovery Channel video on this subject… One of the claims that many who dispute the Bible make is that there has not been any archaeological evidence of Pharaoh’s army being drowned anywhere in any body of water on the Sinai. What the Discovery Channel video showed was a large beach area on one side of the Red Sea, a plateau area in the Red Sea, and a large beach on the other side (The Saudi side) also a mountain close by the locals call “The Mountain of God.”

  26. FWIW: Lake Ontario is the smallest of all the Great Lakes, with a surface area of 7,340 square miles (18,960 square kilometers), but its waters run deep. It holds about four times the water volume, at 393 cubic miles (1,640 cubic km), as Lake Erie, although it is similar in width and length. In 2017, the water levels of Lake Ontario reached its highest in 100 years. This lead to massive flooding and ground erosion.

  27. Me thinks you are wrong, For an in-depth scholarly opposing view of is it a holem of shureq (Sof or Suf) see Dr. Batto in Biblical Archeology Review, July/August 1984. John Merritt, MD Tampa, FL

  28. Is it not possible to accept both? The crossing took place at the Red Sea (LXX), but at that time the Red Sea was called the sea of reeds by the Hebrews because at its banks there were some marshy reeds?

  29. This type of arguing before thinking or considering what others are trying to have you consider becomes tiring… it is wrong to assume a Yam Suph or Sea of Reeds would be a muddy spongy marsh simply because that is all you know of a marsh. I live on the Northen West Coast in America (near San Francisco) No one would say that the waters along the coast are shallow muddy spongy waters but others also would not know that there are Salt Water Marshes connected to the bay, these are deep open waters that also contain reeds!

    • Sean, thank you SO MUCH for this! It seems that many readers hear “marshy,” and immediately think “shallow waters.” I was just about to send several message back to folks explaining that many wetlands have deep waters, but you did it for me 🙂 Thanks again!

    • Sean, I’m with you on this one. I really feel almost all these readers have totally missed the point being made in the article and nothing here removes or downplays the miracle of Adonai parting the seas for the Israelites to cross and Pharoah’s army being drowned. It’s a matter of putting two major points into perspective, the name of the sea and actual geographic position that this miracle happened.

  30. I must say I agree with comments made by Mark, Sidney and Larry. Let me remind you that God points out very clearly in chapters 14 and 15, that He brought the children of Israel through the sea “on dry ground/land”, which was as much of a “miracle” as the ‘parting of the waters’. To provide good, solid footing on compacted sand from which the water had been separated, was absolutely required in order to facilitate the exodus of approximately 2.5 million people with ox carts, cattle, sheep and goats.

  31. Yesterday I wrote that Y’hovah sent a strong east wind during the night which created an ice bridge. The Yis’raéli crossed on the being dry prior to the sun rising and when Mits’rayim attempted to cross the ice bridge was allowed to melt with the sun rising and they were drowned in the depths. Wonder why my previous post was deleted?

    • Your previous post on this point was not deleted; it remains the second of your two comments on June 25.

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  32. Exactly as Tony Jonathan said. The picture I get is a large lake-like area or portion of sea that has a lot of reeds along the shoreline. Just because it is named the “Sea of Reeds” does not mean that it was a marsh full of reeds!

  33. Possible translations range from Yam Suph, Yom sof , to yom suf. Keep in mind the Hebrew is not using vowels, so a definitive position on the translation seems rather absurd. The important thing is a miracle occurred, miraculously a peoples was saved, miraculously a pursuing army was drowned ; G-d’s power was demonstrated in a parting of waters, be they reedy pond waters, red sea or end of sea. This focus is divisive, legalistic, unnecessary, perhaps that is one of the great things about no vowels, focus on the big picture. ! Yom sof could be end of day.

    • Hi Jane. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. I’m not seeing how “end of day” (yom suf) would make sense; Pharaoh’s army could drown in a “sea” (yam), but physically drowning in a “day” (yom) does not follow. Hebrew scholars are pretty well set on Yam Suf as the correct reading. More, I’m not seeing how discussing linguistic possibilities is “legalistic,” as it has nothing to do with the Law or legal considerations. These discussions are only “divisive” if people let them be; they should be “thought-provoking” or “interesting,” or stimulating,” but never “divisive.”

      • Thank you for the reply, fair comments re legalistic and divisive, yes linguistics should be thought provoking I agree, point taken . Re end of day, was meant only as an example of how without vowels and just consonants there are many possible translations! However just for fun, to extrapolate further it was the end of day for the Egyptian army and the end of day for bondage in Egypt for Israel. They drowned, we were saved, end of day. Again at the end of day they reached the waters and awaited G-ds hand.

        • Thanks, Jane! Glad that you’re a part of the discussion. You’re right that Hebrew (due to lack of vowels) can be read in several different ways and I do think that re-pointing the vowels yields a better reading in some cases. Love your “end of the day for the Egyptian army” pun! That would have surely made the rabbis smile 🙂

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  34. I vote Reed sea 🙂 So…the ark for Moses is similar to Noah and 1 Peter 3:20 ties Noah to God’s patience and being saved by water. According to Ex 14:11 the people of Israel were frightened because there are no arks (graves?) in Egypt. What does that mean? Could the divided waters in the Reed sea mean that water both saves and destroys? For the first time ever I just don’t see why dry land matters here.

    • Hi Kat. I’m glad you vote for Reed Sea 🙂 In Exod 14:11, the Israelites sarcastically say to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves (q’varim) in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the wilderness?” There’s no relationship between 14:11 and Noah/Moses’ “ark” (tevah). You’re right that the waters “destroy” people, but it’s really the ark that “saves” — that is, Noah is saved *from* the water *through* the ark. 1 Peter 3:20-21 cites Noah’s ark in the context of being saved through baptism; but it’s more midrashic allegory than a one-to-one correspondence.

  35. Me thinks Cecil B. DeMille might’s be able to help clear the confusion here. After all, what happened can be clearly seen right there on the screen. J. 🙂

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  36. There are numerous problems dating back to the third century when Constantine’s psychic mother misidentified Mount Sinai. Paul(Shaul) states the mountain is in Arabia, not Egypt. There is a Mount Laws in Arabia close to the Gulf o Aqaba – one of the arms of the Red Sea.. on the west side of this arm is a place called Pi ha’Hiroth – the mouth of the caves. There is a broad beach between there and the gulf. An amateur archeologist has found an underwater ridge and Egyptian chariots on this ridge. Is this the true yam suf?

  37. The word translation of “sea of reeds” in both Ex 2:3 and Ex 14 makes me a believer in “sea of reeds”. I am sensitive to replacement theology and I notice in Ex 14:31 the Israelites believed (teba) in the LORD. The word “believe” seems very weak (given the history). Part of my reasoning for converting to Christianity was that my personal ability to believe seemed too weak. The word is so strong in Christianity. I see in Hebrew 11:29 that it was by faith that the Israelites passed through on dry ground. Why is believing weak and faith strong.

  38. I believe the body of water that Israel crossed was indeed deep and the parting of the water was an unprecedented miracle as the Bible clearly describes it. However, many scholars agree that agree that ‘suph’ should be translated ‘reed’ rather than ‘red’ “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea; his best officers sank in the Reed Sea. ( Exo 15 v 4 International Standard Version)

  39. I believe the body of water that Israel crossed was indeed deep and the parting of the water was an unprecedented miracle as the Bible clearly describes it. However, some scholars agree that ‘suph’ should be translated ‘reed’ rather than ‘red’ “Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea; his best officers sank in the Reed Sea. ( Exo 15 v 4 International Standard Version)

  40. If we read Ex 12: 37- it says that they camped at Rameses, and they moved to Succoth, where they baked their breads, and in verse 17- they didn’t travel by the Way of the Land, verse 20- they moved from Succoth to Etham,on the edge of the wilderness, and Ex 14: 2- says they turned back, to camp before Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal- Zephon, between Migdal and the sea, and the Egyptians found them there…..verse 25- the Egyptians chariots wheels swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty… If the red sea- maybe ‘lowflying’ on magic carpet….?

  41. If we read Ex 12: 37- it says that they camped at Rameses, they moved to Succoth, where they baked their breads, and in verse 20- they moved from Succoth to Etham,on the edge of the wilderness, and Ex 14: 2- says they turned back, to camp before Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal- Zephon, between Migdal and the sea, and the Egyptians found them there…..verse 25- the Egyptians chariots wheels swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty… If they crossed the red sea- maybe they did ‘lowflying’ on magic carpet….??600 000 men on their feet, children and cattle …??

  42. The Israelis camped at Rameses and then they moved to Succoth Ex 12v 37. Ex 13v 20- they moved from Succoth to Ethan, on the edge of the wilderness. Ex 14v 2- they turned back and camped before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdal and the sea, in front of Baal- Zephon. Ex 14v 9- the Egyptians found them camping by the sea, beside Pi- hahiroth in front of Baal- Zephon. Ex 14v 25- the Egyptians chariots wheels swerved, and He made it difficult for them to drive. If the Israelis had to cross the Red Sea ? Maybe via a magic carpet?

  43. Logically. if the Egyptians met Israel in the northern part of Egypt, they had to cross a sea there. How did it looked like there before the Suez Canal was built? There is even a lake that they call the Bitter Lake, maybe that in close proximity to The Bitter Waters of Mara? Christians should not be so easy to deceive, by what who-ever says! Rather ask your questions to the Bible, and you are very rude to Dr Nicholas Schaser. What a shame you are…

  44. I like the analogy of Moshe escaping Pharoah as a child and as an adult thru reeds. It brings to mind you need 2 witnesses at least. 🙂

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  45. And whilst we differ over “Reed” or “Red”, and whether Moses was put between the Reeds of the Reed Sea or the Nile (as I “reed” it in Exodus 2 verses 3 to 5,etc), the enemy boasts about the victory over the differences of trifling things! If we cannot agree on what stands in the Bible, then what is left? If the Word of God says He opened the sea, then He did! If the Word says the whole army drowned in the waters when it came back, then they did! Don’t put things in, and don’t take things out!

  46. How about Yam Suf meaning “End of the Sea”. I could see sailors considering the Gulf of Aqaba being a dead end and calling it that. You probably know where I’m going with this – Moses crossed the Gulf of Aqaba. Maybe the traditions of some are not what they should be.

    • Thanks, David. The idea that the word usually rendered “suf” (reeds) should read “sof,” (i.e., “end”) is indeed attested in Jewish tradition. Ibn Ezra notes that some read Yam Suf as Yam “Sof” and therefore interpret the sea as the one “at the end of the world.” However, Ibn Ezra immediately retorts that this reading is a “big mistake” because, according to him, the sea at the “end of the world” is the Mediterranean. While “sof” is known from antiquity, scholars are basically agreed that we should follow the Masoretic “suf.”

  47. Please google Ron Wyatt- Red Sea Crossing, as he was the archaologist that actually discovered the place where the crossing took place,
    Chariots and all!

  48. Dear Sir, I am aware that many of the scientific and historical theories of the late Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky have been rejected by competent scholars, but he did have a good knowledge of Hebrew and was able to quote many Rabbinical sources. Interestingly, he did comment on this, suggesting that Yam Suf was “the Sea of the Hurricane” that is, as I understand it, “Sea of the Strong East Wind” mentioned in Scripture. There is, of course, a similar Hebrew word “sufah” meaning “storm or gale”, but is this relevant? See his book WORLDS IN COLLISION.

  49. Those of you who think that a sea of reeds is not deep enough to drown in have not been to any of the marsh or swamp areas in the Gulf states like Louisiana or Florida. There is plenty of space along the Gulf coast that looks like grassy, reed covered land but you will find that once you try to walk on it you will immediately sink into water that more than sufficient for drowning. If such places exist in the Gulf, they also exist in other areas of the world with similar environments.

  50. Excuse me, but they’ve already discovered the Red Sea crossing site, and it’s between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, across the Gulf of Aquaba. Ron Wyatt found it first and there is a stone pillar on each side commemorating the crossing site and in the sea bottom are chariot wheels and pieces of horse bones.

  51. Although in disobedience to Yahweh’s instruction, it is understandable why the Israelites would desire to return to Egypt, rather than go through a wilderness before entering the Promised Land, since they had just witnessed Pharoeh and his army being drowned. so the preacher’s who always mock them for wanting to return to slavery make no sense.

  52. May I tell of in the early 1970 I was at the time in Australia and twice on Cronulla beach which I lived near I was amazed to see the sea at the beach stand as a wall about 10 feet high. Didn’t notice more than a breeze. Thought of Moses. It was an amazing sight. Of course this would be a natural phenomena but Israel’s crossing must have been something tremendous since the news spread and the people feared Israel and Israel’s God. Just thought my experience might be interesting.

  53. The one thing that you are not taking in consideration is its at lands end. The other thing is where they were going Midian. Also at the reed sea was a large Egyptian army base. Try the Gulf of Aquba where they have found chariot wheels and shapes of chariot axles.

  54. Solomon left pillars on each side of the crossing to mark the spot for you and me. You can see the one on the Sinai side from google earth. The Saudis put the other one in the sea at the spot where it was found on the shore. Follow the trail and you will find a whole lot more convincing evidence. Enjoy your search.

  55. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea at Nuweiba and there appears to be pretty conclusive evidence for this. King Solomon erected two pillars which were inscribed in Hebrew (and erased/plastered over by the Egyptians! Guess why?) to commemorate the crossing, giving honour to Yehovah. The pillars are at the start point and at the end point – exactly marking the crossing (on DRY land). There is also clear evidence that a large army drowned along this crossing path. Why is it so important for this miracle to be disputed?? (Talk about a frenzied effort!)

  56. Dr. Schaser, I don’t mean to be blunt, but you need to do some more studying. An excellent resource for this topic is “The Lost Sea of the Exodus” by Glen Fritz. It’s a 300+ page book, over 24 pages of references, that does a detailed analysis of the MEANING of “Yam Supf”….suph is a singular noun, disqualifying translation as “reedS”. Suph does NOT require botanical interpretations. Core meaning of suph word family: “end”, “border”, and “edge.” This is consistent with God’s promise to Abraham[Genesis35:12], restated to Moses as southern boundary[Exodus23:31], and reinforced as Gulf of Aqaba in 1Kings9:26, Jeremiah49:21.

    • Jon, I’ve not read the book, but your comments on the Hebrew are incorrect. First, “suf” is a collective noun (like zera: “seed(s)” or etz: “tree(s)”), so that while it looks limited to the singular, it includes the plural. We can see this clearly in Exodus 2:5, when Moses is found in the river “among the reeds” (בתוך הסוף). One cannot be “among” a single reed; Moses is found in his basket “among” multiple reeds. More, “end” in Hebrew is “sof,” not “suf.” These words look identical in Hebrew but are, in fact, different words (any Hebrew lexicon will provide separate entires for the words “sof” and “suf”). The late Hebrew word sof (“end”) is rarely used in the Bible and only appears in biblical texts that postdate the composition of Exodus (cf. Ecc 3:11; 1 Chron 20:16).

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      • Yes ‘reeds’ not red. Reeds grow in shallow water; easily blown about by the wind. Reeds = Biblical picture of men not planted in the depth of the Word, not washed in the “water of the Word;” unstable, not firm in the Word. Any wind (spirit) comes along blows them this way/that. Moses (the Torah/Law) placed in a teva (same as used in Noah’s ark); hidden among these reeds (unstable men blown about by any spirit); but rescued by Egyptian princess; so ‘out of Egypt I called My son” to Midian & Mount Sinai … not enough space to continue

  57. Red Sea or Reed sea? I see that there is geographical reference to the land of Edom or the Edomites who must have been as red as Esau. Could this be the reason it was called the Red Sea or Edomite Sea?

    • Thanks for your question, Ben. Do you mean the reference to the leaders of the Edomites in Exodus 15:15? Since the lands of Moab and Canaan are also mentioned in this verse, it would likely be over-reading to equate the “Red sea” specifically with Edom and the “adom” (red)/”Edom” wordplay.

  58. It likely took Pharaoh several days to realize that he had lost a large labor force. And several more to assemble the army. With the time lost it likely provided the Israelis enough lead to make it to the beech at Nuweiba by the time the Egyptians caught up. Thanks to God’s intervention the Israelis escaped into Midian, across the gulf of Aqaba.
    The is theoretical, of course, and is presented in that light.

  59. There’s a book titled “Exodus: Myth or History” by David Rohl which, among other things, makes the case for the Sea of Reeds being the biblical Red Sea, just as Dr. Nicholas is claiming above. It gives EXTENSIVE details on the route of the Exodus and why the Sea of Reeds makes sense in terms of that route. Excellent reading!

  60. Hi! The red sea crossing: The exodus route went through the Wadi Watir, and wilderness as stated in the Bible. Israel then found themselves on a beach called, Nuweibaa, at the gulf of Aqaba. They crossed into Saudi Arabia, where the real Mt Sinai can be found.

  61. Could it be that crossing the sea of reeds was at low tide.
    The tide changes approximately every 6 hours. Maybe it took that time to cross the sea and when the Egyptian armies arrived the tides were returning. Did they know about the tides back then?

    • Yes, ancient peoples knew of tidal variation. However, the text itself attributes the event to God directing the wind (see Exod 14:21), as opposed to low tide.

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