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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Did Moses Really Parted The Red Sea?

red sea, moses

The Bible is the most popular book of all time. One of the most famous and most remembered stories from the said famous book is the story of Moses. Moses, a former Egyptian prince later turned prophet, religious leader, and lawgiver. He is also known for parting the red sea. And just like any books, There are theories that some situations depicted in the book is not real or did not happen at all. One event that some people dismisses as a fact is Moses being able to part the red sea.

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and Jehovah caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Exodus 14:21-22)

“The floods stood upright as a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea” (Ex. 15:8)
“He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as a heap” (Psa. 78:13)

It is debated, argued and discussed if the parting of the red sea is a miracle or just a natural event and one of the famous points to dismiss the Red Sea event as a fact is through this argument:

The “Red Sea” (yam sup) is commonly suggested to be rendered as “Sea of Reeds.” in which supposedly makes the location at which Israel left Egypt was only a “marshy” area that only got dried out by a temporary wind.

It was known to be debated for the supposition that the Hebrew term sup is only related to an Egyptian word which means “reed.” However, the term sup may also be related to the Hebrew term sop, which signifies “end” or “conclusion” and if we connect it to the event it could possibly refer easily to several connected bodies of water extending southward from Palestine and Arabia

Another theory that was pointed out to be the real reason of the Red Sea's parting is the volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Santorini (presumably about 500 miles north of Egypt), c. 1450 B.C. The said volcano could be the reason for the sea to part ways due to its production of a tidal wave when it erupted. Another theory suggested that a volcanic explosion took place in the 13th century B.C. is the one who parted the Red Sea.

red sea moses
Image: Nicolle Rager Fuller
Bible Scholars also explained the Red Sea event (Wood, p. 106):

“Wind alone did not do all that was necessary in this instance. God alone had to intervene with additional supernatural power. We know that the water involved was deep, and not merely that of a marshy area, for later the Egyptians were drowned in it (Exod. 14:27-28). Moreover, the lake bottom was made sufficiently dry (Exod. 14:22, the Hebrew using yahbashah) so that Israelites could drive their wagons over it. Still further, the path had to be very wide, perhaps as much as a mile, to permit more than two million Israelites to cross during part of one night. To push back water for a half mile on one side and a half mile on the other side would indeed take the miraculous power of Almighty God”

John Davis, A professor has shown that a “natural wind” would never ever satisfy the verbal demands of the Exodus context. He firmly believes that the Red Sea Event is indeed a work of miracle and he used four reasons to support his belief.

Written by Kent McGrath, Lucis Philippines contributor.

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