“God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” Exodus 13:18
IT’S A SEA WITH AN ASTERISK in the Bible. When we read “Red Sea” the asterisk usually says it’s yam suf in Hebrew, “sea of reeds.”
That leaves many Bible experts wondering if Moses led the Jewish refugees across a path through the Red Sea or through one of the reed-framed lakes north of there, such as Lake Timseh, Great Bitter Lake, or Little Bitter Lake.
On a map, the sea looks a bit like the long, skinny head of a bunny with two ears: the Gulf of Suez as the left ear and the Gulf of Aqaba on the right. Aqaba marks the southern tip of Israel’s boundary.
Solomon owned a fleet of trading ships that sailed out of a couple of port cities along the Gulf of Aqaba. The Bible simply calls the body of water “sea,” though most Bibles translate it as “Red Sea.” Every three years, Solomon’s merchant sailors brought back exotic animals, gold, silver, and gems from African and Arabian countries. It was quite a chore, given the strong winds that sometime drove ships into the sharp coral reefs.
The Red Sea stretches about 1,450 miles (2,333 km) southward and averages about 150 miles (241 km) across.
Excerpt about the Red Sea from Steve’s newest release, Stephen M. Miller’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.