This post continues a series examining the prophecy of Genesis 9:25-27 and the three sons of Noah. “My Three Sons” introduced the passage and its setting; “Canaan and the Curse” focused on Noah’s prophetic curse on Canaan, the son of Ham.
“He also said, ‘Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant’ ” (ESV, Gen. 9:26).
Leaving the prophetic curse, Noah began to issue two “blessings”—a spiritual blessing on Shem and a temporal blessing on Japheth. Actually, it was not Shem himself who was blessed, but He who would eventually be the God of Shem (i.e., the LORD). Our English versions indicate by the four capital letters of LORD that the word used for God’s name is the sacred personal name sometimes translated “Jehovah,” but probably more accurately pronounced “Yahweh.” It is God’s covenant name, indicating His eternal existence and His personal relationship to His covenant people. It is the LORD (i.e., Yahweh) who would be the God of Shem and his descendants. The Shemites became the great Middle Eastern peoples, including those later called Arabs and Jews. What this prophecy indicates, therefore, is that God would establish a personal covenant relationship with the line of Shem.