ford (ma`abhar (Ge 32:22; "pass" (of Michmash), 1Sa 13:23; "stroke" (the Revised Version, margin "passing"), Isa 30:32); ma`barah (Jos 2:7; Jg 3:28; 12:5-6; Isa 16:2; "pass" (of Michmash), 1Sa 14:4; "passages" (the Revised Version, margin "fords"), Jer 51:32); `abharah (2Sa 15:28; 17:16; "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy"), 2Sa 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) (Nu 21:12-13; De 2:24). The Jabbok (Zarqa) is frequently referred to, particularly in connection with Jacob (Ge 32:22). The most frequent references are to the Jordan which, in time of flood, was impassable (Jos 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 (Ge 32:10), Gideon (Jg 8:4), the children of Ammon (Jg 10:9), Abner and his men (2Sa 2:29), David (2Sa 10:17; 17:22), Absalom (2Sa 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 Jos 2:7 in connection with the pursuit of the spies who were hidden in Rahab's house, and in 2Sa 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 (2Sa 19:18), is rendered "ferry-boat" (the Revised Version, margin "convoy").
Alfred Ely Day