Red Sea
Dictionary of Bible Names

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Red Sea
Bible Meaning: Sea of reeds
Strong's Concordance #H5488, #H3220, #G2063, #G2281

The word translated as "red" in the KJV Old Testament means reeds. The word for "sea" comes from the Hebrew that references this or other types of water bodies. In the New Testament, the phrase "Red Sea" is only used twice and is derived from the Greek words for the color and the sea.

Crossing the Sea

The Bible is unclear regarding the exact location where God permanently ended Egypt's pursuit of its Israelite slaves. Israel's crossing of the "Red Sea," during the Exodus, is almost certainly not referring to the large body of water we are familiar with today.

The Sinai Peninsula, on modern maps, has the Gulf of Suez as its western border and the Gulf of Aqaba as its eastern border. The sea is considered the body of water south of both Mount Sinai and the peninsula itself. It is too far away from Egypt and from where Israel encamped after leaving Pharaoh (Exodus 14:2, 9) to be the place where God performed one of his greatest miracles.

Location of Red Sea near Sinai Peninsula Map
Location of Red Sea near Sinai Peninsula

Israel's crossing either took place on the northernmost part of the Gulf of Suez or on one of the smaller bodies of water (lakes) between it and the Mediterranean. According to Holman's Bible Dictionary, evidence suggests the crossing took place near Lake Timsah that is north of the much larger Great Bitter Lake.

Important Verses

Exodus 15:1, 3 - 4, 22
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord . . . The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Numbers 21:3 - 4
And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities . . .

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

Deuteronomy 11:4
And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots: how he made the water of the Red sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the Lord hath destroyed them unto this day . . .

Psalm 106:2, 7, 21 - 22
Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?

Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt: they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies: but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea . .

They forgat God their savior, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

Psalm 136:1, 13 - 14
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever . . .

To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:

Acts 7:36
He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

Hebrews 11:24, 29
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter . . .

By faith they (the children of Israel) passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Additional Studies

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Series Notes
References are based on the
King James Bible translation (KJV).