SUPH sōōf (ס֜וּף, reeds). According to the RSV, a place of indefinite location where Moses expounded the law to Israel (Deut 1:1). The KJV, following the LXX and Vul., understands it to refer to the Red Sea (yam sūph). Its association with Paran, Hazaroth, and the Arabah, the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea which extends southward to the Gulf of Aqabah, a northern arm of the Red Sea, suggests that the KJV tr. is quite probable.
(cuph; plesion tes eruthras (thalasses); the King James Version Red Sea): As the verse stands, the place where Moses addressed the children of Israel is indicated as "beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah over against Suph" (De 1:1). the King James Version, following Septuagint, takes the name as a contraction of yam cuph (see RED SEA). The abbreviation is not found elsewhere. The name of the sea was not derived from that of a city; so we need not look in that direction. Knobel suggested Naqb es-Safa, a pass about 25 miles West-Southwest of the Dead Sea. But it is "unsuitably situated; nor does the name agree phonetically (for @@ ... agrees with ..., not with ...)" (Driver, "Deuteronomy," ICC, 4). No identification is possible.
(Deut. 1:1, R.V.; marg., “some ancient versions have the Red Sea,” as in the A.V.). Some identify it with Suphah (Num. 21:14, marg., A.V.) as probably the name of a place. Others identify it with es-Sufah = Maaleh-acrabbim (Josh. 15:3), and others again with Zuph (1 Sam. 9:5). It is most probable, however, that, in accordance with the ancient versions, this word is to be regarded as simply an abbreviation of Yam-suph, i.e., the “Red Sea.”