In Exodus 13:18 (NASB)

Therefore God led the people around by way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in battle formation from the land of Egypt.

Does this passage reference the commonly known Red Sea?


  • 1
    Many 'academics' and 'scholars' who have not sufficient faith to believe that God almighty is able, at a moment's notice, to part the waters of a sea, have laboured long and hard to try to prove that the Israelites gingerly picked their way through a muddy swamp. It is excrutiatingly obvious that the exodus was across the left fork of the Red Sea commonly called the Suez Gulf, whence they traversed into Sinai.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 23, 2021 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


This cannot be answered with any certainty. Almost every Bible atlas and Bible commentator offers a different theory about the route of the Exodus.

Here is what can be known:

1. The Hebrew name for this is "yam suph" = "sea of reeds". Note the differences in probable reference as from BDB for the word סוּף (suph)

a. to Gulf of Suez Exodus 10:19; Joshua 2:10 (both J), Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:4,22; Exodus 23:31 (all E), Deuteronomy 11:4; Joshua 4:23 (D), Numbers 33:10,11 (P), elsewhere late Nehemiah 9:9; Psalm 106:7; Psalm 106:9; Psalm 106:22; Psalm 136:13; Psalm 136:15.

b. sometimes to Gulf of Akaba 1 Kings 9:26, and דֶּרֶךְ יַםסֿוּף Numbers 21:4 (E), probably also Numbers 14:25 (E), Deuteronomy 1:40; Deuteronomy 2:1; perhaps Judges 11:16; Jeremiah 49:21; possibly read מִיַּםסֿוּף for ׳מוֺל ס Deuteronomy 1:1

2. Comments from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Sea

The association of the Red Sea with the biblical account of the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is ancient, and was made explicit in the Septuagint translation of the Book of Exodus from Hebrew to Koine Greek in approximately the third century B.C. In that version, the Yam Suph (Hebrew: ים סוף‎, lit. 'Sea of Reeds') is translated as Erythra Thalassa (Red Sea). Although reeds do not grow in the Red Sea today (reeds do not grow in salt water), Professor Colin Humphreys explains the discrepancy on the basis that a freshwater marsh of reeds could have existed around Aqaba.[15]

Note the description in Ex 14:22 -

and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on their right and on their left.

Thus, the "sea" must have been deep enough to have "walls of water" suggesting more than just a marsh or swampy area.

There has been a huge amount of ink expended on this question and we are unlikely to resolve it here. There is not enough data to establish this beyond question.


Good question! Look up Ron Wyatt or Dr. David Kim. They offer some compelling archaeological evidence suggesting the Gulf of Aqaba is the real crossing. As well as evidence of Hebrew culture/language on the opposite side. It will be up to you to accept it, against the current accepted theories. That’s the key word, theory. What you find currently are nothing more than theories, made by academics. Ron Wyatt and Dr. David Kim present a different theory, but full of physical evidence, whereas current theories lack said evidence, giving way to many regurgitating that “there’s no proof of a mass exodus.”

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