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Red Sea

The narrow sea between Africa and Arabia, about 1,450 miles long and averaging about 150 miles wide. It is not certain whether this or some other body of water is meant by references in the exodus story. The Hebrew term that is often translated “Red Sea” in English Bibles is yam suph, literally “Sea of Reeds.” Furthermore, the Hebrews did not distinguish between “sea” and “lake” (cf. “Sea of Galilee,” which is actually a lake). In any case, King Solomon later maintained a fleet at Ezion-geber on the Gulf of Aqabah, at the northern end of the Red Sea (1Kgs 9:26-28; 1Kgs 10:11; 1Kgs 10:22). Jehoshaphat of Judah later attempted to do likewise, but his ships were destroyed (1Kgs 22:48).