Shallow place in a stream or river that permits crossing by foot. The Romans were the first to build bridges in Palestine. Before their time river crossings were generally limited to fords. Fords are mentioned in connection with three rivers in Palestine: the Arnon (literally “rushing torrent,” Isa 16:2), the Jabbok (Gen 32:22), and the Jordan. All three rivers have swift currents and offer few fording places. Fords were thus strategic points. To secure the fords meant success in battle (Judg 3:28; 12:5-6); their loss meant defeat (Jer 51:32).
GENESIS 32:22 – And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservatns, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.
JUDGES 3:28 – And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.