Easton's Bible Dictionary
Mention is frequently made of the fords of the Jordan
2:7 ; Judges
3:28 ; 12:5
), which must have been very numerous; about fifty perhaps. The most notable was
that of Bethabara. Mention is also made of the ford of the Jabbok ( Genesis
32:22 ), and of the fords of Arnon ( Isaiah
16:2 ) and of the Euphrates ( Jeremiah
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, ford