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Bible Cities: Red Sea
The Red Sea in the Bible

Map of the Ancient Red Sea

Red Sea in Easton's Bible Dictionary The sea so called extends along the west coast of Arabia for about 1,400 miles, and separates Asia from Africa. It is connected with the Indian Ocean, of which it is an arm, by the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb. At a point (Ras Mohammed) about 200 miles from its nothern extremity it is divided into two arms, that on the east called the AElanitic Gulf, now the Bahr el-'Akabah, about 100 miles long by 15 broad, and that on the west the Gulf of Suez, about 150 miles long by about 20 broad. This branch is now connected with the Mediterranean by the Suez Canal. Between these two arms lies the Sinaitic Peninsula. The Hebrew name generally given to this sea is _Yam Suph_. This word _suph_ means a woolly kind of sea-weed, which the sea casts up in great abundance on its shores. In these passages, Ex. 10:19; 13:18; 15:4, 22; 23:31; Num. 14:25, etc., the Hebrew name is always translated "Red Sea," which was the name given to it by the Greeks. The origin of this name (Red Sea) is uncertain. Some think it is derived from the red colour of the mountains on the western shore; others from the red coral found in the sea, or the red appearance sometimes given to the water by certain zoophytes floating in it. In the New Testament (Acts 7:36; Heb. 11:29) this name is given to the Gulf of Suez. This sea was also called by the Hebrews Yam- mitstraim, i.e., "the Egyptian sea" (Isa. 11:15), and simply Ha-yam, "the sea" (Ex. 14:2, 9, 16, 21, 28; Josh. 24:6, 7; Isa. 10:26, etc.). The great historical event connected with the Red Sea is the passage of the children of Israel, and the overthrow of the Egyptians, to which there is frequent reference in Scripture (Ex. 14, 15; Num. 33:8; Deut. 11:4; Josh. 2:10; Judg. 11:16; 2 Sam. 22:16; Neh. 9:9-11; Ps. 66:6; Isa. 10:26; Acts 7:36, etc.).

Red Sea in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Hebrew: Sea of Suph ("seaweed"; like wool, as the Arabic means: Gesenius). The Egyptians called it the Sea of Punt (Arabia). Called "red" probably from the color of the weed, and the red coral and sandstone, not from Edom ("red") which touched it only at Elath; nor from Himyerites (hamar, "red" in Arabic; the Phoenicians too are thought to mean red men, and to have come from the Red Sea), as their connection with it was hardly so dose and so early as to have given the name. An ancient canal, begun by Sesostris, continued by Darius Hystaspes and Ptolemy Philadelphus, joined the Nile to it. Boundaries. On the W. Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia; on the E. Arabia; on the N. the isthmus of Suez; on the S. the straits of Bab el Mandeb ("gate of tears") joining it to the Indian ocean; 1,600 English miles long, by an average of 150 broad. The mountains on each side vary from 3,000 to 6,000 ft. high; the tops granite, underneath limestone, on the seashore light colored sandstone. The northern end ("the tongue of the Egyptian Sea"), since the Exodus, has dried up for 50 miles. The land at the head of the gulf has risen, that on the Mediterranean has fallen (compare Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 19:5). This drying up has caused the ancient canal which conveyed the Red Sea commerce to the Nile (from about Hereopolis on the Birket et Timsah and lake of the crocodile to Bubastis at the Nile), and irrigated the country (wady Tumeylat) to be neglected and ruined. The country about has consequently become a gravely sand desert, with rank marsh land round the old sea bottom, called "the bitter lakes." Near them was the town Heroopolis, from which the gulf of Suez was called the Heroopolite gulf. Ras Mohammed, the headland of the Sinaitic peninsula, divides the Red Sea into two tongues: the western one the gulf of Suez, 130 miles long by 18 broad, narrowing to ten at the head; the eastern one the gulf of Akabah ("a declivity"), 90 long by an average of 15 broad. Precipitous mountains 2,000 ft. high rise from the shore. The Arabah or Ghor connects it with the Dead Sea and Jordan valley. Anciently the gulf of Akabah was the Sinus Elaniticus, from Oelana or Elath at the northern end. No considerable stream falls into this large sea. The gulf of Suez is the shallowest part. The waters are remarkably transparent, so that the plants, corals, and rocks are visible to a great depth. Its phosphorescence is also noteworthy. This is the most northern part of the ocean where coral reefs are found. These take the outline of the coast, and being covered for some distance with only five or sir feet of water render access to land difficult. The western or Egyptian side of the Red Sea is of limestone formation; gebel Gharib 6,000 ft. high; the porphyry mountain, gebel ed Dukhkhan, inland, is about...

Red Sea in Naves Topical Bible The locusts which devastated Egypt destroyed in Ex 10:19 -Israelites cross; Pharaoh and his army drowned in Ex 14; 15:1,4,11,19; Nu 33:8; De 11:4; Jos 2:10; 4:23; 24:6,7; Jud 11:16; 2Sa 22:16; Ne 9:9-11; Ps 66:6; 78:13,53; 106:7-11,22; 136:13-15; Isa 43:16,17; Ac 7:36; 1Co 10:1,2; Heb 11:29 -Israelites camp beside Ex 14:2,9; Nu 14:25; 21:4; 33:10,11; De 1:40; 2:1-3 -The boundary of the promised land Ex 23:31 -Solomon builds ships beside 1Ki 9:26 -The wilderness of Ex 13:18

Red Sea in Smiths Bible Dictionary 1. Name. --The sea known to us as the Red Sea was by the Israelites called "the sea," Ex 14:2,9,16,21,28; 15:1,4,8,10,19; Jos 24:6,7 and many other passages, and specially "the sea of Suph." Ex 10:19; 13:18; 15:4,22; 23:31; Nu 14:25 etc. This word signifies a sea-weed resembling wool, and such sea-weed is thrown up abundantly on the shores of the Red Sea; hence Brugsch calls it the sea of reeds or weeds. The color of the water is not red. Ebers says that it is of a lovely blue-green color, and named Red either from its red banks or from the Erythraeans, who were called the red people. 2. Physical description. --In extreme length the Red Sea stretches from the straits of Bab el-Mendeb (or rather Ras Bab el-Mendeb), 18 miles wide. in lat. 12 degrees 40' N., to the modern head of the Gulf of Suez, lat. 30 degrees N., a distance of 1450 miles. Its greatest width may be stated at about 210 miles. At Ras Mohammed, on the north, the Red Sea is split by the granitic peninsula of Sinai into two gulfs; the westernmost, or Gulf of Suez, is now about 150 miles in length, with an average width of about 20, though it contracts to less than 10 miles; the easternmost or Gulf of el-'Akabeh, is about 100 miles long, from the Straits of Tiran to the 'Akabeh, and 15 miles wide. The average depth of the Red Sea is from 2500 to 3500 feet, though in places it is 6000 feet deep. Journeying southward from Suez, on our left is the peninsula of Sinai; on the right is the desert coast of Egypt, of limestone formation like the greater part of the Nile valley in Egypt, the cliff's on the sea margin stretching landward in a great rocky plateau while more inland a chain of volcanic mountains, beginning about lat. 28 degrees 4' and running south, rear their lofty peaks at intervals above the limestone, generally about 15 miles distant. 3. Ancient limits. --The most important change in the Red Sea has been the drying up of its northern extremity, "the tongue of the Egyptian Sea." about the head of the gulf has risen and that near the Mediterranean become depressed. The head of the gulf has consequently retired gradually since the Christian era. Thus the prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled, Isa 11:15; 10:5 the tongue of the Red Sea has dried up for a distance of at least 50 miles from its ancient head. An ancient canal conveyed the waters of the Nile to the Red Sea, flowing through the Wadi-t Tumeylat and irrigating with its system of water-channels a large extent of country. It was 62 Roman miles long, 54 feet wide and 7 feet deep. The drying up of the head of the gulf appears to have been one of the chief causes of the neglect and ruin of this canal. The country, for the distance above indicated, is now a desert of gravelly sand, with wide patches about the old sea-bottom, of rank marsh land, now called the "Bitter Lakes." At the northern extremity of this salt waste is a small lake, sometimes called the Lake of Heropolis; the lake is now Birket-et-Timsah "the lake of the crocodile," and is supposed to mark the ancient head of the gulf. The canal that connected this with the Nile was of Pharaonic origin. It was anciently known as the "Fossa Regum" and the "canal of Hero." The time at which the canal was extended, after the drying up of the head of the gulf, to the present head is uncertain, but it must have been late, and probably since the Mohammedan conquest. Traces of the ancient channel throughout its entire length to the vicinity of Bubastis exist at intervals in the present day. The land north of the ancient gulf is a plain of heavy sand, merging into marsh-land near the Mediterranean coast, and extending...

Red Sea in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE (yam-cuph (Ex 10:19 and often), but in many passages it is simply hayam, "the sea"' Septuagint with 2 or 3 exceptions renders it by he eruthra thalassa, "the Red Sea"; Latin geographers Mare Rubrum): 1. Name 2. Peculiarities 3. Old Testament References 4. Passage through the Red Sea by the Israelites Objections (1) Steep Banks of the Channel (2) Walls Formed by the Water (3) The East Winds (4) The Miraculous Set Aside LITERATURE 1. Name: The Hebrew name yam-cuph has given rise to much controversy. Yam is the general word for sea, and when standing alone may refer to the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, or the Sea of Galilee. In several places it designates the river Nile or Euphrates. Cuph means a rush or seaweed such as abounds in the lower portions of the Nile and the upper portions of the Red Sea. It was in the cuph on the brink of the river that the ark of Moses was hidden (Ex 2:3,5). But as this word does not in itself mean red, and as that is not the color of the bulrush, authorities are much divided as to the reason for this designation. Some have supposed that it was called red from the appearance of the mountains on the western coast, others from the red color given to the water by the presence of zoophytes, or red coral, or some species of seaweed. Others still, with considerable probability, suppose that the name originated in the red or copper color of the inhabitants of the bordering Arabian peninsula. But the name yam-cuph, though applied to the whole sea, was especially used with reference to the northern part, which is alone mentioned in the Bible, and to the two gulfs (Suez and Aqabah) which border the Sinaitic Peninsula, especially the Gulf of Suez. 2. Pecularities: The Red Sea has a length of 1,350 miles and an extreme breadth of 205 miles. It is remarkable that while it has no rivers flowing into it and the evaporation from its surface is enormous, it is not much salter than the ocean, from which it is inferred that there must be a constant influx of water from the Indian Ocean through the Straits of Bab-el- Mandeb, together with an outflow of the more saline water beneath the surface. The deepest portion measures 1,200 fathoms. Owing to the lower land levels which prevailed in recent geological times, the Gulf of Suez formerly extended...

Red Sea Scripture - Exodus 10:19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.

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