Is the reference to "a name that doesn't disappear" in Isaiah 66:22 an allusion, in contrast to Genesis 11:4? What does it promise to new covenant believers?:

[Gen 11:4 NIV] (4) Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

[Isa 66:22 NIV] (22) "As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure.


Double-posting my question on Quora.

1 Answer 1


Not directly, but loosely, perhaps. Allusions are made when an earlier text contains an isolated, distinct motif that a later text wants to remind its audience of. This is not what is going on here, because gaining and losing one's “name” is a common idea in the biblical text.

In Hebrew, the word we translate “name” actually has a broader meaning. It often refers to one's identity with a community- one's renown, influence and reputation. The men of Babel wanted renown for building their tower, but just about everyone wants a great “name.” Even God does things for the sake of his “name,” his reputation on earth.

In the new creation, God will give renown to his loyal people. He promises this especially to those who were persecuted for his sake. Even though they seemed like failures in life, they will be revealed as glorious victors instead.

You could say there is a contrast with Babel, in terms of seeking glory the world's way, compared with seeking glory God's way instead.


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