"parted like the Red Sea"

The Parting of the Red Sea is a familiar story within literary consciousness.  It is told in the Book of Exodus in the Bible, and describes how the sea divides into two after Moses holds his staff over the water.  This allows the people he is leading, the Israelites, to escape, and their pursuers, the Egyptians, are drowned.  The Hebrew words for ‘Red Sea’ are ‘Yam Suph’; some scholars have proposed that as this can be translated instead as ‘Sea of Reeds’, there may actually have been no body of water involved in the event the tale describes.