Gen 11:4

11:4 city. See notes 4:17; 8:1–12:9; and 10:10.

tower . . . in the heavens. This description suggests a monumental effort motivated by pride (cf. Is. 2:15–17). Human beings—this time in a titanic attempt at corporate self-assertion—again sacrilegiously challenge God (3:6 note).

make a name for ourselves. Since “name” connotes fame and progeny, these city builders were attempting to find significance and immortality in their own achievements. But only God gives an everlasting name (12:2) to those who magnify His name (4:26; 12:8; Is. 63:12,14).

lest we be dispersed. Like Cain in their isolation from God, these proud sinners feared dislocation, and perhaps one another as well (4:14). Also like Cain, they found their solution in an abiding city rivaling God—a strategy that involved disobeying God’s command to “fill the earth” (9:1).