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, Exodus 10:19 ; 13:18 ; Exodus 15:4 Exodus 15:22 ; 23:31 ; Numbers 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 ; Hebrews 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" ( Isaiah 11:15 ), and simply Ha-yam, "the sea" ( Exodus 14:2 Exodus 14:9 Exodus 14:16 Exodus 14:21 Exodus 14:28 ; Joshua 24:6 Joshua 24:7 ; Isaiah 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 ( Exodus 1415 ,15; Numbers 33:8 ; Deuteronomy 11:4 ; Joshua 2:10 ; Judges 11:16 ; 2 Sam 22:16 ; Nehemiah 9:9-11 ; Psalms 66:6 ; Isaiah 10:26 ; Acts 7:36 , etc.).
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.
[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography InformationEaston, Matthew George. "Entry for Red Sea". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".