( Deuteronomy 1:1 , RSV; marg., "some ancient versions have the Red Sea," as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah ( Numbers 21:14 , marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim ( Joshua 15:3 ), and others again with Zuph ( 1 Samuel 9:5 ). It is most probable, however, that, in accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the "Red Sea."
soof (cuph; plesion tes eruthras (thalasses); the King James Version Red Sea):
As the verse stands, the place where Moses addressed the children of Israel is indicated as "beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph" (Deuteronomy 1:1). the King James Version, following Septuagint, takes the name as a contraction of yam cuph (see RED SEA). The abbreviation is not found elsewhere. The name of the sea was not derived from that of a city; so we need not look in that direction. Knobel suggested Naqb es-Safa, a pass about 25 miles West-Southwest of the Dead Sea. But it is "unsuitably situated; nor does the name agree phonetically (for @@ ... agrees with ..., not with ...)" (Driver, "Deuteronomy," ICC, 4). No identification is possible.
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