Or 'Erythrean Sea' (Septuagint cf. original Greek of I Maccabees 4:9; Wisdom of Solomon 10:18, 19:7). Yam Suf in Hebrew, literally, 'Sea of Reeds' (Rashi on Exodus 13:18; see note on Exodus 2:3) or 'End Sea.' (Ibn Ezra on Exodus 13:18). This probably denotes the Gulf of Suez, which separates Egypt from the Sinai Peninsula. See note on Exodus 13:18.
In ancient times, the term 'Red Sea' or 'Erythrean Sea' referred to what is now the Red Sea as well as its two arms, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (cf. Rashi; Herodotus 2:11). However, it also included the rest of the waters to the south of Asia Minor, such as the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean (Josephus, Antiquities 1:1:3; Herodotus 4:37; Pliny 6:28; Strabo 16:765).
Some say that it is called the Red Sea because of the color of its reeds (see note on Exodus 2:3), the corals in its waters, the color of the mountains bordering its coasts, or the glow of the sky reflected in it. Others say that its name is derived from the ancient nation of Erythria, so named because is inhabitants painted their faces red (Dio Cassius 68:28; Philostratus, Apollonius 3:50; Arrian, Indica 37). It is possible that the name may also be associated with Edom (see Genesis 25:30), which means red. It is also said that it is called the 'Red Sea' because it lies to the south, and the south is called the 'red zone' (cf. Photius 250:717).