ford (ma`abhar (Genesis 32:22; "pass" (of Michmash), 1 Samuel 13:23; "stroke" (the Revised Version, margin "passing"), Isaiah 30:32); ma`barah (Joshua 2:7; Judges 3:28; 12:5,6; Isaiah 16:2 "pass" (of Michmash), 1 Samuel 14:4; "passages" (the Revised Version, margin "fords"), Jeremiah 51:32); `abharah (2 Samuel 15:28; 17:16; "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy"), 2 Samuel 19:18); from `abhar, "to pass over"; compare Arabic `abar, "to pass over" and ma`bar, "a ford"):

In the journeyings of the children of Israel, in addition to the miraculous passages of the Red Sea and the Jordan, they had other streams to pass over, especially the Zered (Chisa') and the Arnon (Maujib) (Numbers 21:12,13; Deuteronomy 2:24). The Jabbok (Zarqa) is frequently referred to, particularly in connection with Jacob (Genesis 32:22). The most frequent references are to the Jordan which, in time of flood, was impassable (Joshua 3:15).

The lower Jordan is about 100 ft. wide, and from 5 to 12 ft. deep, so that in the absence of bridges, the places where it was possible to ford were of great importance. The passage of the Jordan is referred to in connection with Jacob (Genesis 32:10), Gideon (Judges 8:4), the children of Ammon (Judges 10:9), Abner and his men (2 Samuel 2:29), David (2 Samuel 10:17; 17:22), Absalom (2 Samuel 17:24), and others. Jesus undoubtedly crossed the Jordan, and John is thought to have baptized at the ford of the Jordan near Jericho. The fords of the Jordan are specifically mentioned in Joshua 2:7 in connection with the pursuit of the spies who were hidden in Rahab's house, and in 2 Samuel 15:28; 17:16 in connection with the flight of David. In the last two passages we have abharah, the same word which, in the account of David's return (2 Samuel 19:18), is rendered "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy").


Alfred Ely Day

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'FORD'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.