FAITH: Red Sea or Sea of Reeds?
There is a Scientist, Carl Drews who claims that the interpretation for the “Red Sea” in the Bible is incorrect, and it should have been interpreted as the “Sea of Reeds” or “Reed Sea”. The reason this is important to him is because his theory is that God did blow a strong wind to part the water, but it could have only happened over this Sea of Reeds according to Drews.
The Sea of Reeds is connected to the Lake of Tanis which has shallows into the Lake. He believes in combining Science and Christianity, which I am not opposed to, but I like my facts straight. Drews explains that the original phrase from the Hebrew translates as “Sea of Reeds”, which Drews argues that it would have been to the north of the modern-day Red Sea in the Eastern Nile Delta region, just south of the Mediterranean Sea. And then, there’s the meteorology and oceanography information.
Exodus 14:21 reads as follows: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”
By any stretch, a weather event strong enough to move water in this way would involve some unusually powerful winds. Sixty-two miles per hour to be exact, according to Drews.
There is a lot more to his story, but I see flaws in this theory.
The Bible could have been misinterpreted thru the different languages, but I don’t think God would let that happen. If God doesn’t want us to know something, He simply doesn’t put it in His Word, just like the location of the Tree of life. He has hidden the Garden of Eden until the end of this world, and no one will find it until God wants them to.
In Revelation, God tells John to close the book and not write something down because He does not want us knowing it. (Revelation 10:4, NIV: “And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down.)
The other flaw is that the Bible states that after the Israelites crossed on dry land, the Egyptians followed and were swallowed up by the water. The “Sea of Reeds” is a shallow lagoon that I can’t see “swallowing” the Egyptians once the water returned. Also, assuming a sandbar existed, an easterly 100-kilometre-per-hour gale would have needed a little over 8 hours to blow the water in the Lake of Tanis westward and back up into the Pelusiac branch of the Nile, parting the waters around the peninsula from which Drews assume the crossing party would have started. Without the sandbar, the wind would have had to blow at 117 kilometers per hour to allow sufficient crossing time. That is a category 1 hurricane here in Southeast Texas.
Exodus 14:9 & 10 states …..”and troops pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon. As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them….”
Exodus 14:29 states – “But the sea had made a wall of water on each side of the Israelites; so they walked through on dry land.”
Notice that says “A wall of water”. I guess shallows could make a short wall? If you Google “Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon” you will see it is on the Red Sea in the Gulf of Suez. Taking the Bible literally is so much easier than trying to explain it to fit into Science. And God can accomplish anything He wants without it making sense to us.
Karen Y. Stevens is Executive Director at Meals on Wheels