Will the Vision Tarry or Not?

Habakkuk 2:3 - For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

The verse says that the vision will tarry and then immediately says that it will not tarry.


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The solution to this apparent contradiction is simple. Many English words including the word "tarry" have multiple definitions. According to Merriam Webster, tarry has the following definitions:

  1. a : to delay or be tardy in acting or doing

    b : to linger in expectation : wait

  2. : to abide or stay in or at a place

This verse uses 2 different definitions. The first time 'tarry' occurs it is using the first definition (to delay or linger in expectation), while the second time it uses the second definition (to abide or stay in or at a place). So, while the vision may tarry (delay or linger in expectation), it will surely come, it will not tarry (abide or stay where it is).

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