Talk:Reed Sea

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The Red Sea has been referred to as the Reed Sea. The Biblical link is "yam suph", with examples for both the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. The name has never been used in reference to a river or delta. To say that the Reed Sea.. may refer... possibly ... to the Nile delta shows no basis in fact. I have deleted the sentence. Cobblers 13:44, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


Please see this Globe and Mail article for an interesting discussion that includes the Reed Sea. Deet 12:27, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Seems a fair article, a bit of promotion perhaps. The relevant statement you may be citing is "But Mr. Jacobovici says the sea Moses crossed was not the Red Sea, as is traditionally thought, but a smaller lake, known in Egypt as the Reed Sea. Its Egyptian name, translated into Hebrew, means 'the place where God swallowed up.'"

It seems there will always be controversy, but the Biblical record clearly means Red Sea as we know Red Sea today. It is illogical for a navy of ships to be built in a lake. Cobblers 00:20, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

In the narrative, they after crossing head toward and eventually reach the Sinai desert (Ex. 19:1). The term "Reed Sea" may have referred to the whole thing (both gulfs included), and Solomon's ships may have been deployed on what is now called the Gulf of Aqaba, but if it were the Gulf of Aqaba that was crossed in Ex. 14, that would put the Desert of Sin to the East of Sinai, meaning the people would have been traveling West, toward Egypt, just after escaping from Pharaoh. Or else the location of the Sinai desert would have to be significantly different from what is generally assumed. Later, during the time of wandering, westward travel might make sense, but in Ex 15-16 such an assumption does violence to the plain sense of the text. They were leaving Egypt, not going there. --Jonadab —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.166.236.61 (talk) 18:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems that the article as it stands now is not coherent. It defines the Reed Sea as a body of water that has since dried up, but without listing the evidence for the assertion. Then it goes on to dispute the question of whether the Yam suph of Exodus 13-15 is what we now call the Red Sea or a "Reed sea." Wouldn't it be better to define the Reed Sea as "an option for understanding the Hebrew Yam suph in Exodus 13:18; 15:4, 22 and perhaps other places in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament"? Then go on to state the arguments that have been made for and against each of these two translations. Finally it could discuss the proposals for a "Reed Sea", including 'a body of water that has since dried up.' Does this outline sound like a good one? It could keep NPOV, without begging what seem to me to be the two relevant questions about the head term: (1) how to translate Yam suph (esp. but not exclusively in Exodus 13-15), and (2)If Yam suph is better translated "Sea of Reeds," where should we understand it to have been located? Beckersc0t (talk) 14:50, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

The article now seems even less coherent. The article isn't even on the reed sea anymore but rather on the phrase Yam Suph. Furthermore, it dismisses the association between Reed Sea and Yam Suph in the first sentance in favor of Red Sea. If Yam Suph desribes the red sea rather than the reed sea, then what justification is there for the extensive citings from the Bible which is now the article's only content? Regardless of whether the reed sea is what Yam Suph refers to, this article should be about the Reed Sea.Blaimjos (talk) 20:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps I need to explain my intentions in the major change I made. It seemed to me that the article, as it was, was distinctly POV, and almost devoid of WP:RS. The numerous references to television programs were valueless as sources for checking the alleged facts in the article. My intention was to get some evidence together on which sensible discussion could be based - to provide a sound stub, so to speak. It is absolutely not my intention to "dismiss the association between Reed Sea and Yam Suph in favor of Red Sea", nor does my text say that. "Reed Sea" must mean "Yam Suph", or else it has no meaning. Whether in fact that's the same as the Red Sea is an open question which I have not prejudged. I think it would be a shame for anyone to revert what I have written, but an excellent thing for other editors to add discussion below it. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 21:21, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't realize you responded so quickly. Maybe I was too hasty. I think I misread the discussion section and I didn't notice that the references were all to history channel episodes. Aparently you didn't notice, samuel, that I'd already reverted. It's no disaster, though, because it is all right there in the history if it needs to be revived. It seems like there needs to be more discussion. I agree that the article needs more reliable sources. I originally came to this article looking for info on the reed sea itself (as opposed to whether it is what the Bible refers to) and I've been dissappointed to not be able to find anything. The history channel references may be difficult to check against but it seems like they are better than nothing until better replacements can be found. I am reading in a lot of places that it was a specific lake in egypt which dried up after the Suez Canal was built. This seems like an important point to keep even if qualified because it is the only piece of actual data on the reed sea that I've seen here. I can tell you put a lot of effort into the occurances section and that could be a great resource for someone but I'm not sure if this is the right place for it. I think a new article would be a great addition to hold it such as "'Yam Suph' in the Bible". There does seem to be some contention on whether Yam Suph does mean read sea. I see a lot of corrections that that would have to be Yam Suphim. Perhaps something on that should be included but there appear to be more qualified editors weighing in on that point. Lastly, what do you think is POV about the article? Blaimjos (talk) 02:05, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
To respond to your last question, about POV: I think the opening sentence is disputable. I just looked in Encyclopedia Britannica (15th edition) and under "Reeds, Sea of" it has "literal translation of the Hebrew term for Red Sea". This implies that "Sea of Reeds" means "Yam Suph" by definition, and I believe that this is the general scholarly assumption. The arguments can then begin as to where on the ground this refers to. As far as I am aware there is no reason outside the biblical account to attach that name to the dried-up lake the article talks about. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 14:01, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
On the contrary, it doesn't at all mean that "by definition". There's been a relatively recent (a century or so) idea that Yam Suf means anything but the Red Sea. It is clearly used for the Red Sea in the Bible. Aqaba is situated on Yam Suf, and Aqaba is on the Red Sea. The reason it's become popular to claim that is's a Reed Sea is that the idea of a "miraculous crossing of the Red Sea" makes people uncomfortable.
The "suf" in Yam Suf doesn't necessarily mean reed (let alone reeds), and there are sources which say otherwise. Britannica may be a reliable source, but it isn't the only one. The literal translation of Yam Suf is "Suf Sea". Suf there might be referring to reads or storm-winds or endings. The statement in the Britannica is not entirely true. -LisaLiel (talk) 15:17, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I think you're in less disagreement with me than you think you are. I have an open mind as to what "Yam Suph" actually means, and didn't wish to imply otherwise. My point is, however, that the phrase "Reed Sea" was only invented as the translation for "Yam Suph", so when we speak of the Reed Sea, Yam Suph is necessarily what we mean by it. From your point of view, that means that Reed Sea and Red Sea are synonyms. What I find unhelpful and misleading is to imply that "Reed Sea" is necesssarily the dried-up lake referred to, since that is just a theory, which both of us doubt.

I would add, however, that the Bible doesn't say "Aqaba is situated on Yam Suf", unless you can tell me where. It does associate Yam Suph with "Eloth" or "Elath" (1 Kings 9, 26) as you can easily check in the quotations in the version of the article that Blaimjos deleted. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 15:54, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

My bad. You're right about Eilot. I misremembered. And I'd misunderstood you. My apologies. -LisaLiel (talk) 19:18, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
You're forgiven. Meanwhile I've been moving towards agreeing with Blaimjos' suggestion that my "occurrences" stuff might be best as a new article called Yam Suph. Currently that redirects back to Reed Sea, but it needn't. What do people think? SamuelTheGhost (talk) 16:37, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I've now done that. It's Yam Suph. I'd welcome additions to the Discussion section. SamuelTheGhost (talk) 08:43, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Many accolades for that. It was always confusing to try to sort out the presentation of the chief scholarly understandings of the biblical phrase Yam Suph from within an article which assumed one of them(the Reed Sea). This will make the whole project more clear. Beckersc0t (talk) 16:32, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

I followed Samuel's lead and moved some of the discussion on possible meanings for Yam Suph from this article over to the new Yam Suph page, where it fits much better than here (though it still needs work). It seems the best 'job' for this page now is just giving a little detail to the the various alternative locations and understandings of the Reed Sea as proposed by scholars. Ideally these should be traced to their original proposers or chief adherents. Beckersc0t (talk) 17:38, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

References, merge[edit]

References 1 and 2 are identical and both point to the Wikipedia article New Revised Standard Edition without further information. They are completely out of place here given that Yam Suph has an exhaustive list of Bible citations. Any reason why this is a separate article from Yam Suph? Also, if that lake dried up due to the Suez Canal, that means it existed until at least 1869. There must be maps or other records of that supposed lake. It might even have had a name.--87.162.42.162 (talk) 23:45, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the references. Yam Suph was created after this article, in Jan 2008, but only as a redirect of Reed Sea. Six months later it was turned into a real article. Sea of reeds seems to be the original article, created in April 2006 and shortly after redirected to this title. So basically you are right, and one of these is a content fork, the only real issue now should be which one remains as the article and which as the redirect. Dougweller (talk) 05:17, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I should put my opinion which is that this should be the redirect. Dougweller (talk) 05:18, 13 June 2009 (UTC)