Was Moses known from the Bible

Moses and the miracle of the sea

Dramatic rescue operation

The waters of the sea part, the Israelites get dry feet to the other shore. The Egyptian army is drowning in the floods.

But is this body of water so vividly described in the Old Testament actually the Red Sea? Modern Bible Students have at least doubts here.

"When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them through the land of the Philistines, which was closest, because God thought that the people might repent if they saw fighting ahead of them, and they could go back again Reversing Egypt.

So he made the people take a detour and led them through the desert to the Red Sea. And Israel went out of the land of Egypt in a well-ordered manner. "(Exodus / Exodus, chapter 13, verse 17f.)

This is what the Luther Bible says in the revision of 1984. We are talking about a "sea of ​​reeds" on which the dramatic rescue operation will later take place. It is described as follows in the next chapter:

"When Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, the LORD made it retreat through a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry and the waters parted. And the Israelites went into the middle of the sea on dry land, and the water was a wall on their right and left.

And the Egyptians followed and went in after them, all the horses of Pharaoh, his chariots and men, in the middle of the sea. "(Exodus / Exodus, chapter 14, verse 21ff.)

"Red Sea" or "Red Sea"?

So God divided the sea to save his people, according to the Old Testament. But that's not all:

“But the LORD said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again and attack the Egyptians, their chariots and their men. So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea came in again towards morning his bed, and the Egyptians fled to meet him.

So the Lord cast them into the middle of the sea. And the water came again and covered chariots and men, the whole army of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, so that not one of them was left. "(Exodus / Exodus, chapter 14, verse 26ff.)

This story is taken up again and again later in the Bible, for example in various psalms. In the Old Testament, however - at least according to today's reading - there is repeated mention of the "Red Sea" or the "Sea" in general, not the "Red Sea".

Historical translation error?

The fact that the story is still often located on the Red Sea to this day is probably due to the early Bible translators: From around 250 BC the Bible was translated for the first time continuously, from its original language Hebrew into the ancient Greek used at the time.

According to the sources, the term “Red Sea” was probably equated with the “Red Sea” - just as it corresponded to the geographical ideas of the time.

The story is also quoted several times in the New Testament. In contrast to the Old Testament, the "Red Sea" is actually mentioned twice here, for example in the book of Acts when Moses is mentioned:

"This Moses brought them out and did wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea and in the desert for forty years." (Acts of the Apostles, chapter 7, verse 36)

Several routes conceivable

But whether the "Red Sea" crossed by Moses and the Israelites was actually the "Red Sea" cannot, in the opinion of modern Bible Students, be said with certainty.

Other locations are also conceivable. Archaeologists found evidence during excavations eight kilometers from the Egyptian city of Faqus that this place known as Tell ed-Dab'a could be identical with the biblical city "Ramses" (Exodus / Exodus, Chapter 1, Verse 11) .

At the time, Lake Ballah, which is now part of the Suez Canal, was around 35 kilometers away. It is possible that a group of forced laborers from the city of Ramses managed to escape via the area of ​​Lake Ballah and that the story of Moses goes back to this.

Another variant of the explanation refers to the Sirbonische See. It was in the Nile Delta and had treacherous flowing sand on its edges. Travelers who did not know their way around could easily be drawn into the depths here.

Two Greek historians, Diodor and Strabo, describe the pitfalls of this body of water. Seaquakes are said to have existed there well into Roman times, which at times made the water in the lagoon disappear completely.

Regardless of which explanation is now considered plausible - this has no influence on the core message of the biblical story. The only thing that counts for theologians here is that God saved Moses and his company in need. The place where this rescue actually took place - that only plays a subordinate role.