Your son Canaan will bow to Shem.
From Shem’s family line, the Semites, a man named Abram emerged from Ur in Babylonia. He and his wife Sarai had lived with his father’s tribe north of Ur in Haran, but God told him to take his herds and head south and settle in an area he designated for the fulfillment of his promise to save humankind.
“You’ll become a great nation,” God told him, “blessed and renowned. Those who bless you will be blessed, and those who curse you will be cursed. Because of you, every family in the world will have reason to celebrate.”
Abram took God at his word. When he was seventy-five years old, he packed his bags and loaded up his wife, his nephew Lot, their livestock, and all the servants they had acquired in Haran and journeyed voluntarily into the unknown.
Traveling through Canaan, they stopped at Moreh Grove in Shechem. God said, “This will be the land of your children.”
Abram had no children and knew his wife was barren, but he built an altar anyway, willing to stretch himself beyond his personal bounderies, believing that God’s word was his bond.
From Shechem, he and his entourage continued south and lived off the land. All along the route, Abram would build one altar after another, fueled by a God who would show up indiscriminately to repeat his promise of wide, open spaces and endless descendants.
Inspiration: Genesis 10-12; I Chronicles 1