What Does Tarry Mean in the Bible?

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In the Bible, the term “tarry” holds great significance. It appears in various contexts throughout scripture and is often associated with patience, waiting, and trust in God’s timing. Understanding the biblical definition of tarry is crucial for believers seeking to grow in their faith and deepen their relationship with God.

Key Takeaways:

  • The term “tarry” is used frequently in the Bible and holds deep spiritual significance.
  • Tarrying in the Bible is associated with waiting, patience, and trust in God’s plan.
  • Understanding the biblical definition of tarry can help believers grow in their faith and deepen their relationship with God.

Tarrying and Waiting in the Bible

When we talk about tarrying, it’s hard not to relate it to the act of waiting. Waiting is a common aspect of life that can often feel unsettling. However, in the Bible, waiting is emphasized as a virtue. It is an intentional act of patience, faith, and trust in God’s timing.

Understanding tarrying in a biblical context means recognizing the importance of waiting on God with a faithful heart. This concept is not only about waiting but also about the state of our hearts as we wait. Tarrying requires us to have a posture of surrender, acknowledging that God’s timing is perfect and that His plans are better than ours.

Throughout scripture, tarrying is associated with faith and trust in God. For example, in Psalm 25:5, David writes “Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” This verse shows that David’s waiting was not passive but an active form of trust and surrender to God’s will.

In sum, tarrying is not just about waiting. It is a spiritual posture that requires intentionality, patience, and trust in God. By doing so, we can cultivate a deeper relationship with God and experience the power of His timing in our lives.

Tarrying as a Spiritual Practice

Tarrying is not just an act of waiting, but a spiritual practice that believers use to deepen their relationship with God.

Through this practice, one can cultivate a sense of patience, perseverance, and trust in God even in the face of challenging situations. The idea of tarrying is not new to the Bible. In fact, it is often referred to in scripture as a means for individuals seeking the guidance of God.

The Psalmist writes, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14), a verse that encourages believers to remain steadfast in their faith- even during tough times.

When we tarry, we are actively seeking to hear and obey God’s voice, allowing Him to direct us at each step of our journey. Some practices that facilitate tarrying include prayer, fasting, and meditation on scripture.

Through each of these spiritual practices, we can discover new facets of God’s character and his will for our lives. As we seek His face, we become more attuned to his voice and are empowered to make decisions that align with His plan.

Tarrying and God’s Timing

As we’ve previously discussed, tarrying is often associated with waiting on God’s timing. This can be a challenging task, as our own plans and desires often clash with the timeline that God has set for us. However, when we choose to tarry and align ourselves with God’s will, we can experience His blessings and favor in our lives.

One biblical example of tarrying and waiting on God’s timing is the story of Abraham and Sarah. God promised them a son, but as years passed without seeing this promise fulfilled, they grew anxious and took matters into their own hands. Sarah suggested that Abraham have a child with her maidservant, Hagar, resulting in the birth of Ishmael. However, this was not the plan that God had for them, and ultimately, Sarah did conceive and give birth to Isaac, fulfilling God’s promise.

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In this story, we see the importance of tarrying and waiting on God’s timing, even when it seems difficult or impossible. Although Abraham and Sarah had moments of doubt and impatience, they ultimately chose to trust in God’s plan and were blessed as a result.

It’s important to note that tarrying and waiting on God’s timing does not mean simply sitting idly by. Rather, it involves actively seeking God’s guidance and direction in our lives, even when we don’t yet see the way forward. This can involve prayer, fasting, seeking wise counsel, and faith-filled action in alignment with God’s will.

In the next section, we will explore biblical examples of tarrying and waiting on God, drawing valuable lessons from their experiences.

Biblical Examples of Tarrying

Throughout the Bible, there are numerous examples of individuals who practiced tarrying by waiting on God’s timing and being patient. Here are a few notable examples:

ExampleScripture Reference
MosesExodus 24:18
DavidPsalm 27:14
ElizabethLuke 1:25-30
JesusMark 14:32-36

From Moses waiting on the mountaintop to receive the Ten Commandments to Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Bible is filled with examples of individuals who chose to tarry and wait for God’s plan to unfold. Through their experiences, we learn the importance of trusting in God’s timing and being patient in our own lives.


Throughout this article, we have explored the concept of tarrying in the Bible. We have seen how tarrying is not simply about waiting, but that it involves a deepening of faith and trust in God’s plan for our lives. By tarrying, we learn to cultivate patience, a vital attribute for every believer.

As we have seen, tarrying is not always easy. Waiting on God’s timing can be challenging, and we may find ourselves struggling with doubts and uncertainties. However, as we learn to wait on God, we will find that our faith is strengthened, and we become more attuned to His will for our lives.

We hope that this article has given you a deeper understanding of the biblical significance of tarrying and how it can impact your spiritual life. Remember, as you tarry, remain steadfast in your faith and trust that God’s timing is always perfect.

Thank you for reading!


What does “tarry” mean in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, “tarry” refers to waiting patiently or lingering in expectation. It emphasizes the idea of remaining steadfast and persevering in faith while awaiting God’s guidance, timing, or fulfillment of His promises.

How is tarrying mentioned in the Bible?

Tarrying is mentioned throughout the Bible to emphasize the importance of waiting on God’s timing and seeking His will. It is often associated with prayer, seeking God’s guidance, and cultivating a deeper relationship with Him. Examples include waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:4 and Jesus’ instruction to His disciples to “tarry in Jerusalem” in Luke 24:49.

What is the biblical significance of tarrying?

Tarrying holds significant spiritual value in the Bible. It teaches believers the virtue of patience, trust, and reliance on God’s perfect timing. It is a practice that fosters spiritual growth, deepens intimacy with God, and allows space for His plans to unfold in our lives.

How does tarrying relate to waiting on God?

Tarrying, as a concept, underscores the importance of waiting on God and His timing. It encourages believers to trust that God’s plans are perfect and that His timing is always right. By tarrying, we acknowledge our dependence on God, surrender our own agendas, and align ourselves with His will for our lives.

Can you provide biblical examples of tarrying?

The Bible is rich with examples of individuals who practiced tarrying. One notable example is David, who waited patiently on God’s promise of becoming king, despite facing numerous obstacles and trials. Another example is Moses, who spent forty years tarrying in the wilderness before fulfilling his purpose of leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

In summary, what is the concept of tarrying in the Bible?

In summary, the concept of tarrying in the Bible highlights the importance of waiting patiently, seeking God’s guidance, and trusting in His perfect timing. Tarrying is a spiritual practice that leads to deeper faith, growth, and alignment with God’s plan for our lives. By embracing tarrying, believers can cultivate a deeper relationship with God and experience His faithfulness in every aspect of life.

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