“to the Jordan.” The fords of the Jordan across from Jericho are about five miles (8 km) from the ancient city.
“to the fords.” Many places in the Jordan River were too deep to cross easily, but the Jordan did have natural fords where people and animals could cross more easily. The roads in the region led to those fords. If a country controlled the fords, they controlled the east-west travel. When the Israelites fought the Moabites, they captured the fords of the Jordan and then were able to kill all the Moabite soldiers trying to get back to Moab (Judg. 3:28-29).