The narrow sea between Africa and Arabia, about 1,450 miles long and averaging about 150 miles wide. It is not certain whether this or some other body of water is meant by references in the exodus story. The Hebrew term that is often translated “Red Sea” in English Bibles is yam suph, literally “Sea of Reeds.” Furthermore, the Hebrews did not distinguish between “sea” and “lake” (cf. “Sea of Galilee,” which is actually a lake). In any case, King Solomon later maintained a fleet at Ezion-geber on the Gulf of Aqabah, at the northern end of the Red Sea (1Kgs 9:26-28; 1Kgs 10:11; 1Kgs 10:22). Jehoshaphat of Judah later attempted to do likewise, but his ships were destroyed (1Kgs 22:48).
Solomon's Commercial Activity
26King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.27Hiram ... View more
11Moreover, the fleet of Hiram, which carried gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood and precious stones.
22For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold ... View more
48Jehoshaphat made ships of the Tarshish type to go to Ophir for gold; but they did not go, for the ships were wrecked at Ezion-geber.