HaShem tells Avra(ha)m that He will make his name great (Bereshit 12:2), but in the generations before Avram to make one's own name great doesn't seem to be such a great thing (Bereshit 6:4 and 11:4).

What's the difference in making one's own name great v.s. HaShem making one's name great?

P.s. How does one let HaShem make his name great, do we have a role in this (because it seems one can't make his own name great)?

  • in 6:4, the word "hashem" is understood by Rashi to be men whose names related to their own destruction, or who we known for devastating the world. In 11:4 Sforno says "na'ase lanu shem" refers to idolatry (other say, a claim to divinity) while Chizkuni says they were competing with other species for supremacy. In 12:2 making the name great (according to meforshim) had to do with publicizing a proper nature, or becoming complete/perfect, possibly through mitzvot.
    – rosends
    Oct 11 '17 at 12:23

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