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Habakkuk 2:2 seems to be saying that Habakkuk is to write a call to action, and it sounds like it is to be written without obscurity so the reader will immediately charge off. However, in verse 3 it seems that the ones who read it and run are not until the last days. I don't know Hebrew, let alone the subtleties of the grammar, but I notice that "may run" is in the imperfect which I understand could possibly be rendered "he [qal participle active masculine singular absolute] is going to run [in the future]".

[Hab 2:2-3 NKJV] (2) Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. (3) For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

While Habakkuk isn't as explicit, is he saying the same thing as Daniel?:

[Dan 12:4 NKJV] (4) "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

In other words, is Habakkuk saying that his 8 visions are hidden in obscurity until the last days? Or was he writing a perfectly understandable text that his contemporaries could/would act on right away?

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Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets

Habakkuk was commanded to record the vision legibly and permanently for the future. Then readers may run with it.

The imperfect "may run" means the action occurs now and continue to the future because it is not finished yet.

What exactly is this "run" action?

I see the "run" as a metaphor for spreading the news. To me, it means that after I have read Habakkuk's vision, I 'run' to tell another person about it; in turn, he will tell another; and so on. It is an on-going process in time of spreading the news of Habakkuk.

This interpretation bears out in the next verse:

For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait or it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

Spread the news until the appointed time in the future when it will be fulfilled without further delay. Then people will know that the Lord is God.

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  • So, start running around announcing it, even though it is for the distant future? – Ruminator Jan 25 at 16:28
  • I see the "run" as a metaphor for spreading the news. – Tony Chan Jan 25 at 16:31
  • What might be the point? – Ruminator Jan 25 at 16:32
  • Then people will know that the Lord is God. – Tony Chan Jan 25 at 16:34

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