[b-hebrew] Yam Suph "Reed" Sea ?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Jan 26 07:37:05 EST 2004

On 25/01/2004 07:18, Dave Washburn wrote:

>On Sunday 25 January 2004 07:12, Walter R. Mattfeld wrote:
>>As many are aware a controversy exists on whether the Hebrew Yam Suph means
>>"Sea of Reeds" or not. The notion that reeds are suggested is drawn from Ex
>>2:3 by some scholars -
>To try and bring this back to a b-hebrewish topic, it seems to me that one of 
>the questions we need to be asking is: was "suph" a technical name for a 
>particular kind of reed with a distinctive shape, size and growing condition, 
>or perhaps a more general term for visible aquatic plants, whether freshwater 
>or saltwater?  Has anybody looked into this?
The Red Sea may not have reeds growing in it (contrary to Patterson's 
TWOT article, they do not grow in sea water, but then Hebrew professors 
should not be relied on as authorities on botany), but, as I have seen, 
it does have mangroves growing in it - currently only a few, but they 
may have been more common millennia ago. This would distinguish the Red 
Sea and its branches from the mangrove-less Mediterranean. So if suph is 
a more generic term for aquatic plants, this would be a good label to 
distinguish the seas.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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