The Crossing the Red Sea is the Biblical account of the escape of the Israelites from the pursuing Egyptians. In the narrative of the Exodus it marks the point at which the Israelites leave Egypt and enter into their wilderness wanderings.
(Summary of Exodus 14:37-15:21)
Yahweh chooses Moses to lead the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt and into the land of Canaan, which He has promised to them. Pharaoh agrees to their departure, and they travel from Ramesses to Succoth and then to Etham on the edge of the desert, led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. There Yahweh tells Moses to turn back and camp by the sea at Pi-Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon.
But Yahweh caused Pharaoh to pursue the Israelites with his chariots, and he overtook them at Pi-Hahiroth. When the Israelites saw Pharaoh's army they were afraid, but Yahweh told Moses to raise his staff and stretch out his hand over the sea to divide the waters so that the Israelites would pass through on dry land. The pillar of fire and the cloud interposed themselves between the Israelites and the Egyptians, and all that night the Egyptians were in darkness and the Israelites in light, and a strong east wind drove the sea back so that the dry land was exposed, and the Israelites passed through the sea with a wall of water on either hand. The Egyptians pursued them, but Yahweh clogged their chariot-wheels, and at daybreak Yahweh commanded Moses to hold his hand out over the water, and the sea returned and the army of the Egyptians was destroyed. And when the Israelites saw the power of Yahweh they put their faith in God and in Moses, and sang a song of praise to Yahweh for the crossing of the sea and the destruction of their enemies.
The narrative puts the starting-point for the Exodus in the land of Goshen, and there is general agreement that this corresponds to the Wadi Tumilat region in the eastern Delta, called Gesem or Kesem in the 1st millennium BC. Ramesses and Sukkoth were towns at either end of the wadi.
From Ramesses and Sukkoth the Israelites travel to Etham "on the edge of the desert," then turn back to [Pi-Hahiroth]], located between Migdol and the sea and directly opposite Baal Zephon. None of these have been identified with certainty. One theory with a wide following is that they refer collectively to Lake Timsah, a salt lake north of the Gulf of Suez, and the nearest large body of water after Wadi Tumilat. Lake Timsah was connected to Pithom in Gesem at various times by a canal, and a late 1st millennium text refers to Migdol Baal Zephon as fort on the canal.
The Hebrew term for the place of the crossing is "Yam Suph". Although this has traditionally been understood to refer to the salt water inlet located between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, known in English as the Red Sea, this is a mistranslation from the Greek Septuagint, and Hebrew suph never means "red" but rather "reeds." (While it is not relevant to the identification of the body of water, suph also puns on the Hebrew suphah ("storm") and soph ("end"), referring to the events of the Exodus). Scholarly opinion generally posits that the Exodus story combines a number of traditions, one of them at the "Reed Sea" (Lake Timsah, with the Egyptians defeated when the wheels of their chariots become clogged) and another at the far deeper Red Sea, allowing the more dramatic image of the Israelites marching through on dry land with walls of water on either side.