Red Sea Vs. Reed Sea

This entry is part 152 of 366 in the series Inquiring Minds
Image by WorldEnglish from Pixabay

What’s the difference between the Red Sea and the Reed Sea? I’ve heard theories that the Israelites walked through the Reed Sea instead of the Red Sea.

Depending on what route the Israelites took, they ran into the Red Sea or the Reed Sea (Sea of Reeds). Secular scholars say that the Israelites went through the Reed Sea. This is a misnomer that secular scholars throw up.

The literal translation of the Hebrew Bible is “Sea of Reeds.” But scholars take liberty with this and suggest that the Israelites passed through some shallow marshes instead of a deeper body of water. It makes it easier for them to discount the miracle of the Israelites walking over on dry land.

But the Red Sea is deep enough in the middle to kill Pharaoh and all of his soldiers who chased the Israelites into the Red Sea. They easily drown because it was so deep. God removed the waters and built up a wall on one side so the Israelites could pass through on dry land.

Then when Pharaoh and his army followed them on dry land, when they were probably in the middle and completely in the sea, God then let the wall of water go over them and crush them, drowning them.

The option of the shallow marsh means that Pharaoh and his armies had heavy equipment like chariots that got stuck in the middle of the marsh in the wet mud. The problem with this is that the water would not have drowned them in that scenario.

Later on King Solomon builds a fleet of ships on the Red Sea (1 Kings 9:26). We know this wasn’t close to Egypt. But the Mediterranean Sea pushes inward onto the land in a couple of places. It was on these fingers of the Mediterranean Sea, specifically the northwest finger of the Red Sea known today as the Gulf of Aqaba.

It’s more likely that the other finger of the Mediterranean Sea is where the Israelites crossed, also known as the Red Sea. It was deep enough to drown the Egyptians instead of them getting stuck in the shallow marsh.

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