I am looking for a believable explanation of the Red Sea Crossing in the Bible. This would involve either strong winds(which is mentioned in the Bible) or plate tectonics which could cause land to rise up and fall again.

My problem with wind is that I know of no incident where strong winds parted a sea --- even one as shallow as the Red Sea which is, as far as I know as low as 50m in some areas. Winds always move inland not parallel to the coast. Tidal waves and tsunamis always crash into the land not part the sea. Unless I am mistaken.....

Plate movement that both raised and lowered the seabed seems more likely and the Red Sea sees a lot of earthquakes. I've heard the surface area can be crossed in as little as 4 hours. Does anyone know of an example where the land was both raised and lowered in an earthquake, high and low enough to create both a crossing and drowning ?

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    $\begingroup$ No. There is no geologically and scientifically reasonable scenario in which this can happen. $\endgroup$
    – Gimelist
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_Suph... It's a common theory that this was not the "Red Sea" but the "Reed Sea" $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Winds do not "always move inland not parallel to the coast". Where did you get that idea? $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 1:10

1 Answer 1


To my knowledge, the best study looking at potential explanations for the Red Sea crossing is the one by Nof and Paldor (1992). They present a couple of plausible scenarios for the crossing. The main one is the effect of strong winds blowing along the Gulf of Suez and they find that the sea level drop could be sufficient:

It is found that, even for moderate storms with wind speed of about 20 s−1 receding distance of more than 1 km and a sea level drop of more than 2.5 m are obtained. These relatively high values are a result of the unique geometry of the gulf (i.e., its rather small width-to-length and depth-to-length ratios) and the nonlinearity of the governing equation. Upon an abrupt relaxation of the wind, the water returns to its prewind position as a fast (nonlinear) gravity wave that floods the entire receding zone within minutes.

The second mechanism involves a tsunami propagating along the Gulf of Suez from the Red Sea, but it seems like way more of a stretch.

Nof D. and N. Paldor, 1992: Are There Oceanographic Explanations for the Israelites'Crossing of the Red Sea?. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 73, 305–314. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1992)073%3C0305:ATOEFT%3E2.0.CO;2


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