A ford is a relatively shallow place in a stream or river that humans or animals can directly cross simply by walking or wading. The Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) were the first to construct bridges in the land of Israel, so the early Israelites were well familiar with fords in The Jordan River, as well as fords in the Arnon, Yarmuk and Jabbok Rivers. One of the most famous events of Bible History, the renaming of Jacob as Israel, occurred as he was crossing the ford of the Jabbok River (Genesis 32:22-32). John The Baptist may have baptized "on the other side of the Jordan" at or near a ford (John 1:28).

Jacob Becomes "Israel"

After having left Laban (see Jacob and Laban), while returning to his father Isaac, Jacob crossed the fords of the Jabbok River just before he encountered his estranged brother Esau:

Rahab And The Spies

Just before the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land, Joshua sent two spies across the fords of the Jordan:


By their nature, fords were strategic military points of access:

Fact Finder: Did the Euphrates River in Babylon have fords?
Jeremiah 51:30-32

Bible Places Index | Daily Bible Study Home Page

This Week's Bible Quiz

What's the missing word? (Revised Standard Version)

1. "For as _______ was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

2. "And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and _______, talking with Him."

3. "Again I tell you, it is easier for a _______ to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

4. "For as the _______ comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man."

5. "Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas _______, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver Him to you?"

6. "Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for You to eat the _______?"

7. "Now as they were eating, Jesus took _______, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."

8. "Then those who had seized Jesus led him to _______ the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered."

9. "And they had then a notorious prisoner, called _______. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you, _______ or Jesus who is called Christ?"

10. "And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the curtain of the _______ was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split"

For the answers to this July 17 2001 quiz, see the Bible Quiz Answers Page

Daily Bible Study
Copyright Information
Contact the Author or Web Site Administrator