According to Beitzel Abram’s family originally started in Ur, right along the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia. There he got a form of a vision from God where God was telling him to pack up his family and all of his belongings and to head toward the land of Canaan. His family made it to Harran and settled there until his father Terah died at age 205. So Abraham, now 75 left and took Lot with him as God had told him. They followed the Fertile Crescent because if they had gone straight across to Canaan they would run out of water, due to the way the land was set up. Abram was to make this journey from Harran to as far as the site of the Great tree of Moreh at Shechem and to the hills east of Bethel to Negev all while traveling through different climates and scenery.
When he reached the hills east of Bethel he pitched his tent. He then built an alter so that he could communicate with God and this alter was placed with Bethel on the left and Ai on the right. He then continued his journey toward the Negev. On this journey he had to make sure he went through grassy areas and watery areas so that his animals and his family would survive through the journey, and get the proper food and water they needed. This most likely means he traveled the International Coastal Highway, so that he would go through the mountains and valleys of Shechem.
When Abraham reaches Shechem he is in the Mediterranean zone, meaning there is a decent amount of rainfall which makes the land fertile. This land was used for farming because of the amount of rainfall. Shechem’s personal meaning is shoulder or back because it was built mainly on the slope of mount Ebal (Bible Dictionary 1478). It would also be very nice to look at because it was full of plants and a lot of farming communities. Also, there would a view of Mount Ebal to the north and Mount Gerizim to the south (Beitzel 1985:19). It is not said as to what time of year the Abraham was here, but if it were summer it would have been long,...
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