Chapter

The Problem of the Re(e)d Sea

James K. Hoffmeier

in Israel in Egypt

Published in print May 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130881
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130881.003.0009
The Problem of the Re(e)d Sea

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The exodus event reached its climax with the passage of the Hebrews through the sea on Egypt's border, where Pharaoh's forces that had pursued the escaping Israelites met their doom, according to the Bible. By this the Israelites' liberation from Egypt and the oppressive hand of Pharaoh was achieved, and they celebrated this triumph with song on the sea's shore in the Sinai. However, the question remains: Where is this “sea?” In a review of English translations of the Old Testament, one finds the body of water called “the sea,” “the Red Sea,” and the “Sea of Reeds,” revealing the uncertainty found in the Hebrew and Greek versions. The nature of the sea and its location are problems that can only be resolved with a careful examination of the biblical text and its various manuscript traditions.

Keywords: exodus; Hebrews; sea; Egypt; Israelites; liberation; Pharaoh; Old Testament; Red Sea; Sea of Reeds

Chapter.  12773 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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