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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Genesis 19:16

But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the LORD was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.

Adam Clarke Commentary

While he lingered - Probably in affectionate though useless entreaties to prevail on the remaining parts of his family to escape from the destruction that was now descending; laid hold upon his hand - pulled them away by mere force, the Lord being merciful; else they had been left to perish in their lingering, as the others were in their gainsaying.

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These files are public domain.

Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Genesis 19:16

He lingered

Perilous procrastination

I MUST BEGIN BY SPEAKING TO THE PERSON WHO IS LINGERING HIMSELF. I should like to ask you, my beloved friend, if this matter about which you are still hesitating is not of vital importance to you? Do you think you ought to put off all preparation for the future that awaits you? If I knew that some one was about to defraud you of your estate, and that unless you were diligent about it you would lose all your property, I think I should say to you, “Bestir yourself.” If I knew that some deadly disease had begun to prey upon your constitution, and that if neglected it would soon gain an ascendancy with which ‘twere hard to grapple, I think I should say, “Go to the physician. Do not delay; for bodily health is a boon to be prized.” I can scarcely recall the details of a little incident in Russian history which might illustrate the emergency: but the fact, as far as my memory serves, was this. The Czar had died suddenly, and in the dead of the night one of the counsellors of the empire came to the Princess Elizabeth and said to her, “You must come at once and take possession of the crown.” She hesitated, for there were difficulties in the way, and she did not desire the position; but he said, “Now, sit down, Princess, for a minute.” Then he drew her two pictures. One was the picture of herself and the Count thrown into prison, racked with tortures, and presently both brought out to die beneath the axe. “That,” he said, “you can have if you like.” The other picture was of herself with the imperial crown of all the Russias on her brow, and all the princes bowing before her, and all the nation doing her homage. “That,” said he, “is the other side of the question. But, to-night, your Majesty must choose which it shall be.” With the two pictures vividly depicted before her mind’s eye she did not hesitate long, but cast in her choice for the crown. If you decide for Christ, and trust in Him, you shall enter into the bliss of those who for ever and for ever, without admixture of grief, enjoy felicity before the throne of God. To my mind, there ought to be no halting as to the choice.

II. LET ME REMIND THE LINGERER THAT WHILE HE LINGERS HE ENDANGERS THE SOULS OF OTHER PEOPLE. When Lot lingered--he was defeating his own purpose, and doing the worst imaginable thing, if he wanted to convince his sons-in-law that he spake the truth; for while he lingered, they would say, “The old fool does not believe it himself, for if he did believe it, he would pack up and haste away; nay, he would take his daughters by the hand and lead them out of the city at once.” But, hark ye, man, with what face dost thou reprove others whilst thou art not decided thyself? Where is thy consistency? Let me venture to make one other observation here. I should not wonder if the death of Lot’s wife might not partly be attributed to Lot himself. If you think that this is a severe reflection, I would remind you that she must have seen her husband hesitate. Oh, undecided father! I should dread to have thee think, in years to come, “The loss of my children’s souls was due to my procrastination.” Alas, it may be so--it may be so!

III. THE MEANS BY WHICH GOD IS PLEASED AT TIMES TO ROUSE THE LINGERERS. Let us pray for them, that they may by some means be hastened. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Lingerers hastened

I. First, I have to speak TO GOD’S MESSENGERS. I hope they are very numerous in this church. Every believer should be an ambassador from heaven.

1. I speak solemnly to you who have wept over Jerusalem, and who are proving your true love to souls by your exertions for them, and I remind you, in the first place, that it is a glorious work to seek to save men, and that for its sake you should be willing to put up with the greatest possible inconveniences. The angels never hesitated when they were bidden to go to Sodom. They descended without demur and went about their work without delay.

2. Note again--I still speak to those who are messengers of God to men’s souls--when you go to lost souls, you must, as these angels did, tell them plainly their condition and their danger. “Up,” said they, “for God will destroy this place.” If you really long to save men’s souls, you must tell them a great deal of disagreeable truth.

3. When we have affectionately and plainly told the sinner that the wages of his sin will be death, and that woe will come upon him because of his unbelief, we must go farther, and must, in the name of our Lord Jesus, exhort the guilty one to escape from the deserved destruction. Observe, that these angels, though they understood that God had elected Lot to be saved, did not omit a single exhortation or leave the work to itself, as though it were to be done by predestination apart from instrumentality. How impressive is each admonition! What force and eagerness of love gleams in each entreaty!

4. Learn, still further, from the case before us, where words suffice not, as they frequently will not, you must adopt other modes of pressure. The angel took them by the hand. I have much faith under God in close dealings with men; personal entreaties, by the power of the Holy Spirit, do wonders.

5. I thought, as I read my text, that it gave us a striking example of doing all we can. Lot and his wife, and the two daughters--well, that was four--the angels had only four hands, so that they did all that they could--there was a hand for each. You notice the text expressly says, they took hold of the hand of Lot, and the hand of his wife, and the hand of his two daughters. There were no more persons, and no more helping hands, so that there was just enough instrumentality, but there was not a hand to spare. I wish there were in this church no idle hands, but that each believer had both hands occupied in leading souls to Jesus Christ.

6. Observe, also, that as those angels set us an example in using all their power, so they also encourage us to perseverance, for they ceased not to exhort till they had brought Lot out of danger. We must never pause in our efforts for any man till he is either saved or the funeral bell has tolled for him.

7. I will say no more to these messengers of God except this, that we ought to remember that we are the messengers of God’s mercy to the sons of men. The text tells us, “The Lord being merciful unto him.” The angels had not come to Lot themselves; they were the embodiment and outward embodiment and outward display of God’s mercy. Christians in the world should view themselves as manifestations of God’s mercy to sinners, instruments of grace, servants of the Holy Spirit. Now, mercy is a nimble attribute. Justice lingers; it is shod with lead, but the feet of mercy are winged. Mercy delights to perform its office. So should it be with us a delight to do good to men.

II. To You, O LINGERERS, I NOW SPEAK, hoping to be the means, by God’s grace, of driving you out of this lingering.

1. I shall begin--O you that are baiting between two opinions--by asking you, Wherefore do you linger? Lot, I think, loitered because he had much property in and around the city. As to Lot’s daughters, I know not why they lingered, but, peradventure, there were some very dear to them in the city. Do you reply that you do not believe in the danger? Then am I indeed sorry for you, for the danger is none the less sure. Do you linger because you doubt the way of escape? Or, perhaps, you think you do not need it. It is possible that the reason why you linger is, that you indulge some favourite sin. Yet, perhaps, I have not touched the right reason for your lingering. You, perhaps, are subject to an idleness of spirit, a natural inaction and lethargy. I think in most cases this is the root of the matter. You are not bestirred about soul affairs, you are too idle to come to decision. But you must come to it or die. I fear me, that in some cases, though I know not of many in this place, I fear me that this whole matter is despised. If religion be a lie, do not pretend to believe it; say so, and be honest, and take the consequences; but, if it be true, act upon it.

2. Well, I have put the question, Wherefore do you linger? but now I want to say two or three words to you, and they shall be to this effect--Wherewith shall we hasten you? These few considerations, hurriedly offered, I hope will not be forgotten.

Lot: a beacon


1. Lot was a true believer--a converted person--a real child of God--a justified soul--a righteous man. Is any one of my readers a traveller in the narrow way which leads unto life? So also was Lot.

2. Before we pass on, let us remember that a true Christian may have many a blemish, many a defect, many an infirmity, and yet be a true Christian nevertheless. We do not despise gold because it is mixed with much dross. We must not undervalue grace because it is accompanied by much corruption.

II. WHAT THE TEXT TELLS US ABOUT LOT’S BEHAVIOUR. “He lingered.” Now, there are many Christian men and Christian women in this day very like Lot. There are many real children of God who appear to know far more than they live up to, and see far more than they practise, and yet continue in this state for many years. Wonderful that they go as far as they do, and yet go no further I They hold the Head, even Christ, and love the truth. They like sound preaching, and assent to every article of Gospel doctrine, when they hear it. But still there is an indescribable something which is not satisfactory about them. They believe in heaven, and yet seem faintly to long for it; and in hell, and yet seem little to fear it. They love the Lord Jesus; but the work they do for Him is small. They hate the devil; but they often appear to tempt him to come to them. They know the time is short; but they live as if it were long. They know they have a battle to fight; yet a man might think they were at peace. They know they have a race to run; yet they often look like people sitting still. They know the Judge is at the door, and there is wrath to come; and yet they appear half asleep. Astonishing they should be what they are, and yet be nothing more! And what shall we say of these people? They often puzzle godly friends and relations. They often cause great anxiety. They often give rise to great doubts and searchings of heart. But they may be classed under one sweeping description--they are all brethren and sisters of Lot. They linger.


1. He made a wrong choice in early life.

2. He mixed with sinners when there was no occasion for his doing so.


1. He did no good among the inhabitants of Sodom.

2. He helped none of his family, relatives, or connections towards heaven.

3. He left no evidences behind him when he died. (Bishop Ryle.)


1. Saints by infirmity may delay their own salvation, when hastened by the messengers of God. Flesh may hinder and delay.

2. Providence orders His angels to take hold of hands to deliver, when they cannot persuade hearts. Works shall do what words did not.

3. God’s angels leave not the conduct of His saints until they set them without danger.

4. God’s free grace and mercy to His servants is the only cause of all their deliverance by angels (Genesis 19:16). (G. Hughes, B. D.)

Folly of procrastination

The Spanish proverb says, “That which the fool does in the end, the wise man does in the beginning.” The wise with a good grace what the fool with an ill; the one to much profit, what the other to little or none. A word worth laying to heart; for, indeed, that purchase of the sybilline books by the Roman king, what significant symbol it is of that which at one time or another, or, it may be, at many times, is finding place in almost every man’s life; the same thing to be done in the end, the same price to be paid at the last, with only the difference that much of the advantage, as well as grace, of an earlier compliance, has passed away. (Archbishop Trench.)

Impious lives contagious

The impious lives of the wicked are as contagious as the most fearful plague that infects the air. When the doves of Christ lie among such pots, their yellow feathers are sullied. You may observe that in the oven the fine bread frequently hangs upon the coarse, but the coarse very seldom adheres to the fine. If you mix an equal portion of sour vinegar and sweet wine together, you will find that the vinegar will sooner sour the wine than the wine sweeten the vinegar. That is a sound body that continues healthful in a pest-house. It is a far greater wonder to see a saint maintain his purity among sinners than it is to behold a sinner becoming pure among saints. Christians are not always like fish which retain their freshness in a salt sea; or like the rose which preserves its sweetness among the most noisome weeds; or like the fire which burns the hottest when the season is coldest. The Lord’s people, by keeping evil company, are like persons who are much exposed to the sun--insensibly tanned. (J. Secker.)

Golden moments

In the life of every individual there are moments of such transcendent interest that they may be called golden. Several years ago the writer heard an aged minister state that, while Dr. Dwight was president of Yale College, two young men who listened to those masterly discourses which have since been published, were deeply impressed with a sense of their sinfulness and peril. One proposed to the other that they should call on the Doctor, and talk with him. They started arm-in-arm. When they reached the doctor’s house, one refused to enter. The other went in. He who remained out of doors returned to his room, but from that time ceased to manifest any interest. “He who entered,” said the speaker, “became a Christian and a minister, and is now addressing you.” He improved the golden moments, while his bosom-friend permitted them to roll by unheeded, little imagining they exerted upon his destiny an influence undying. In the great revival of 1831, a gentleman of my acquaintance, who had been a sea-captain, and could use more profane language in an hour than any other man I ever knew, became impressed with a sense of his sinfulness. He felt that the time had come when he must decide whether the prayers of his wife should be answered, or not. He was doing an extensive mercantile business, but he sent a note to his partner, stating that he should be detained at home, and should not be at the store, and did not wish to be disturbed. He shut himself in his room, determined not to leave it till he had settled the all-important question to his own satisfaction. Golden moments were passing through his hour-glass, while in one room his wife was pouring out her earnest supplications, and in another he thought on his ways and turned his feet to the testimonies of God, and made haste to keep His commandments. When he left that chamber the question was settled aright, and settled for ever. His face shone like that of Moses. He had been in communion with the Most High. In that same year a lawyer was convicted of his sinfulness, and was anxious to be a Christian. On a certain evening he attended a cottage prayer-meeting, and took a seat by the side of the writer. He had been in the meeting but a few moments, when he became exceedingly agitated, and very soon took his hat and left the house. Towards the close of the meeting he returned. He soon arose and said: “I wish to be a Christian. I am determined to be one. After I entered this room, a transaction which occurred several years ago came to my mind, in which I wronged a man. My conscience, stirred by the Spirit of God, would not let me rest till the matter was settled. I have been and arranged the matter to the entire satisfaction of both parties, and I am now at peace with God and man.” How golden were the moments he spent in being reconciled to the man whom he had injured! During those few moments his destiny was sealed. Had he not improved them aright, he would not have known the pleasure of having a conscience void of offence, nor the comforting assurance of God’s favour. In that same year a young man who had been halting between two opinions for a length of time attended a religious meeting in Albany, and heard one of the impassioned discourses of Dr. Kirk. He left the church in company with an earnest Christian friend. They walked along in silence till they reached a street corner, where they were to separate. On parting the friend asked, “What is your decision?” The answer was, “I will serve the Lord.” That young man became a Christian, and at length a minister of the gospel, Never did he regret the decision he made on that street corner while the golden moments were rolling along. Were not the moments golden which were spent by Queen Esther while pondering the question whether to go in unto the king at the risk of her life? Who can estimate the influence and the importance of that decision! Had she not employed those moments aright, her life and the lives of her nation would have been sacrificed. (American Sunday School Times.)

Benefits of discipline

But, O what followeth in the next words: As he prolonged the time, they caught him by the hand and brought him out. So, so, it is a thousand times needful that we should be drawn violently, when we will not come willingly. And then see here a secret, and lay it to your heart. Your riches, your honours, your friends, pleasures, wife, children, and such like, are taken from you in part or in all. You marvel at it, and think, peradventure, you are quite out of the Lord’s favour, for else this great change in your estate would not be. But fear not--rather remember what you read here: Lot prolonged to do what he should, as his case was, and the Lord caught him by the hand and brought him out. Haply as your case hath been, you have prolonged to do what the Lord willed you, and these things that you have lost were some let unto you to hold you back; the Lord, careful that you should not perish, has in this your change, done no other to you than He did to Lot when He caught him by the hand. Verily He hath even so caught you to bring you by this means, from what and whence He would have you come, because whilst you enjoyed these, you forgot yourself, prolonged and trifled the time, and danger grew on; that it must be otherwise with you, or else the Lord’s judgment light upon you, amongst others whom His justice would punish, and that God would not, and therefore hath rid you thus away--even thus I say, draw you more forcibly by the want of these benefits, because as long as you enjoyed them, words would not work with you. Be not afraid, then, of adversity, but be schooled by it, to get you out of Sodom, and to obey the Lord’s will and bidding: for to this end hath He caught you by the hand, effectually, though not bodily, if you be His. And when once you are out, you shall find Him slack His force again most certainly, and comfort you as shall be good, with riches, honours, friends, pleasures, wife, children, and every needful blessing. Then shall you find it true, what the prophet Daniel assureth you, No good thing verily shall be withheld from them that live a godly life. (Bp. Babington.)

The Lord being merciful unto him

Lot’s escape from Sodom

I. It is natural to speak, first, of THE NEED LOT HAD TO ESCAPE OR, OF THE JUDGMENT BY WHICH THE CITY WAS OVERTAKEN. It is God’s way to be long-suffering. Judgment is a work He does not love. His will is that none should perish. But the cup of Sodom was now overflowing; nor was there any longer hope of its repentance. It was fully time that God’s abhorrence of iniquity should be made to appear. Mercy to surrounding tribes and succeeding generations in danger of falling into like depths demanded this. When nations, cities, families, or individuals become hopeless in their impiety and corruption, when remedial agencies no longer promise good, what, then, shall a just, righteous, and good ruler do? Is it not a startling warning of the just judgment sure to overtake all sin unpardoned, because unconfessed and unforsaken?

II. But we must pass to consider, next, WHY IT WAS THAT OF ALL THE INHABITANTS OF THAT WICKED CITY, LOT SHOULD BE PERMITTED TO ESCAPE. “‘The Lord being merciful to him.” “Thou hast magnified Thy mercy, which Thou hast showed unto me in saving my life.” Poor as was the quality of Lot’s religion, he had some measure of that which is real. He did not lose all faith in the true God.

III. Thus we are brought to speak of some things which appear with respect to THE MANNER OF LOT’S ESCAPE.

1. With very great difficulty. To the very last God’s messengers must use urgency and compulsion! So He must, and does, with many an irresolute believer. Often He graciously applies the rod.

2. But Lot’s escape was not only with great difficulty, it was also with much bitter sorrow and painful loss.

IV. The narrative thus briefly considered abounds in LESSONS of the greatest practical importance.

1. The long-suffering of God may be worn out. Judgment is then sure.

2. None whom mercy can rescue will be suffered to perish. Lot, the most imperfect of believers, was saved.

3. To subordinate religious fidelity to worldly advantage or pleasure is always a costly and often a fatal mistake.

4. In rescuing others, one may sometimes have to use a sort of loving violence; “pulling them out of the fire.”

5. It is possible to be “almost saved, but lost.” (H. M. Grout, D. D.)

The deliverance of the righteous in the time of judgment


1. God’s way of deliverance is often against our will.

2. God’s way of deliverance does not destroy the necessity for our own exertion.

3. God’s way of deliverance is only effective through His mercy.


1. Hence the righteous can offer salvation to the last.

2. Our efforts may be unavailing.


1. The tremendous power of evil.

2. God’s great judgments upon mankind.


Lot’s escape from Sodom


1. In the patience of God with the Sodomites, in sparing them so long.

2. In the willingness to save these wicked cities for even ten righteous persons.

3. In the question (Genesis 19:12).

4. In the loving compulsion by which Lot and his family were urged to escape.

5. In the condescension manifested in granting Lot’s request.

6. Such forbearance is very noticeable in view of the terrible doom with which it was connected.


1. In the continued hardness of the Sodomites.

2. In the mocking unbelief of Lot’s sons-in-law.

3. In the hesitancy of both Lot and his family to leave the doomed city.

4. In Lot’s lack of faith in God’s power to keep him in the mountain as well as in Zoar.

III. THE CONDITION OF SALVATION. The answers to the following questions will reveal it:

1. Why were not Lot’s sons-in-law saved from the doom of


2. Why was not Lot’s wife caught in the destruction of Sodom?

3. How did Lot and his daughters ultimately escape the fate of the Sodomites?


1. Lot, in the choice of Sodom for a residence, furnishes an example of the folly of worldly wisdom.

2. Lot’s sons-in-law furnish an example of the inevitable doom that awaits all who scorn the warnings of God’s messengers.

3. Lot’s wife is an example of the inevitable fate of those who outwardly, but reluctantly, conform to the requirements of the gospel, but whose heart is in the world.

4. The destruction of Sodom is an illustration of the doom that awaits this world and every impenitent soul.

5. The urgency to flee to the Divine refuge is graphically portrayed in the impassioned words of the angels (Genesis 19:17). (D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

Three stages in Lot’s life

I. LOT GOING IN THE DIRECTION OF SODOM. People generally go in the direction of that which is wrong before they thoroughly go into it.


III. The omnipotent mercy of God Almighty, DELIVERING HIM OUT OF SODOM. (M. Rainsford, B. A.)

Lot’s flight from Sodom

I. WE ARE HERE TAUGHT THE REALITY AND MAGNITUDE OF THE DANGER TO WHICH THE SINNER IS EXPOSED. The reality of the sinner’s danger is proved by the express statements of the Word of God, and by the struggles of conscience, as the Almighty’s vicegerent, even in the unregenerated heart.

II. THE MEANS EMPLOYED BY GOD TO AWAKEN THE SINNER TO A TRUE SENSE OF THE REALITY AND MAGNITUDE OF HIS DANGER. Holy Spirit is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last in the work of arousing from their death-like lethargy the prison-bound thralls or slaves of Satan. At one time He comes upon the sinner as an armed man, and attacks directly the stronghold of infidelity in the heart, and throws down every barrier by which it was guarded. At another time--and this is the more usual mode of His operation--the Sanctifier executes His office of bringing transgressors out of darkness into His marvellous light through the instrumentality of the dispensations of God’s providence, and of the faithful preaching of the Word by his called, tried, and appointed messengers.




Lot’s deliverance



The folly of lingering

When a man hath to go over a river, though he ride once and again into the water and come out, saying, I fear it is too deep for me, yet, considering that there is no other way for him, he resolves to venture, for, saith he, the longer I stay the higher the waters will rise, and there is no other way for me--I must go through at the last, why not at the first? And so he ventures through. Thus it is with you. You say, “Oh, but my heart is not humbled; oh, but I am a great sinner; and should I venture upon Jesus Christ?” Will this heart be more humbled by keeping from Jesus Christ, and wilt thou be less a sinner by keeping from Him? No, certainly, for the longer you stay from Christ, the harder it will be to venture on Him at the last. (W. Bridge.)

The danger of delay

Serious things to-morrow,” said a distinguished individual against whose life a plot was laid. One of the confederates, relenting, had sent a notice of the plot by a messenger who had particular instructions to deliver it personally, and to state that the letter must be read immediately, as it was on a very serious matter. The messenger, however, found the person against whose life the plot was laid in the midst of a convivial feast. The letter and message were both faithfully delivered; but the man of mirth and wine laid it aside, saying, “Serious things so-morrow!” The morrow he never saw, for that night the assassin plunged the deadly weapon into his heart. So many put away from them the serious warnings of the gospel, and perish in their sins.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Genesis 19:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And while he lingered,.... Delayed going out of his house, either loath to leave his goods and substance behind him; or waiting to see whether his sons-in-law would come to him; or, as others, praying that God would spare the city: though rather the sense is, that he was so amazed, and filled with horror and trembling at the thought of what judgments were coming on the city, that he was like one stupid, that had no power to stir nor move, which seems best to agree with the sense of the word usedF21ויתמהמה a תמה "admiratus est". :

the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; one of them took hold of his hand with one of his hands, and on his wife's with the other, and the second took hold of one of his daughters with one hand, and of the other with his other hand, and so led them out:

the Lord being merciful unto him; and so saved them from the ruin and destruction of the city, in which had they stayed a little longer they would have been involved. It was not owing to their merits, but to the mercy of God that they were spared:

and they brought him forth, and set him without the city; not him only, but his wife and two daughters also, and having so done, left them and returned to the city; for so the last clause may be rendered, "and left him without the city"F23וינחהו "et reliquerunt", Drusius, Schmidt. , to shift for themselves; or rather well knowing that there would be one that would immediately appear and take them under his care and protection, as the event shows.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Gill, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And while he h lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

(h) The mercy of God strives to overcome man's slowness in following God's calling.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https: 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Tho' Lot did not make a jest of the warning as his sons-in-law, yet he lingered, he did not make so much haste as the case required. And it might have been fatal to him, if the angels had not laid hold on his hand, and brought him forth. Herein the Lord was merciful to him, otherwise he might justly have left him to perish, since he was loath to depart. If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Wesley, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand. The angels first urged him by words; now seizing him by the hand, and indeed with apparent violence, they compel him to depart. His tardiness is truly wonderful, since, though he was certainly persuaded that the angels did not threaten in vain, he could yet be moved, by no force of words, until he is dragged by their hands out of the city. Christ says,

‘Though the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak,’
Matthew 26:41)

here a worse fault is pointed out; because the flesh, by its sluggishness, so represses the alacrity of the spirit, that with slow halting, it can scarcely creep along. And, indeed, as every man’s own experience bears him witness of this evil, the faithful ought to endeavor, with the greater earnestness, to prepare themselves to follow God; and to beware lest as with deaf ears, they disregard his threats. And truly, they will never so studiously and forcibly press forward as not still to be retarded more than enough, in the discharge of their duty. For what Moses says is worthy of attention, that the Lord was merciful to his servant, when, having laid hold of his hand by the angels, He hurried him out of the city. For so it is often necessary for us to be forcibly drawn away from scenes which we do not willingly leave. If riches, or honors, or any other things of that kind, prove an obstacle to any one, to render him less free and disengaged for the service of God, when it happens that he is abridged of his fortune, or reduced to a lower rank, let him know that the Lord has laid hold of his hand; because words and exhortations had not sufficiently profited him. We ought not, therefore, to deem it hard, that those diseases, which instruction did not suffice effectually to correct, should be healed by more violent remedies. Moses even seems to point to something greater; namely, that the mercy of God strove with the sluggishness of Lot; for, if left to himself, he would, by lingering, have brought down upon his own head the destruction which was already near. Yet the Lord not only pardons him, but, being resolved to save him, seizes him by the hand, and draws him away, although making resistance.

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These files are public domain.

Calvin, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Genesis 19:16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

Ver. 16. And while he lingered.] Or distracted himself with much business, (a) which David did not. [Psalms 119:60]

The Lord being merciful unto him.] What is he then to us, in "delivering us from the wrath to come?" [1 Thessalonians 1:10] Why save we not ourselves from this untoward generation? [Acts 2:40] Why see we not his mercy to us in our losses and crosses; his hand laying hold on us, when he takes away that which may hinder us from heaven?

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Genesis 19:16. And while he lingered Alarmed at the apprehension of so terrible an event, shocked for the destruction of his relations and friends, and the inhabitants of this devoted city, Lot stood benumbed, as it were, and unable to move, when the angels led him and his family by the hand from the accursed city, and advised him to fly with all speed from the plain, which was destined to ruin, to the mountains, where he would be safe; exhorting him, as a test of his obedience and faith, not to delay at all by looking back, either for the indulgence of a vain curiosity, or with a regretful anxiety for the overthrow of a country, which so justly merited its severe fate. See Luke 9:62.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He lingered, either through lothness to part with all his estate, or to lose his sons-in-law; or through astonishment and distraction of mind, which made him both listless and impotent.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16. While he lingered — Still he clings to his home and possessions, and must needs be forced away.

Brought him forth — Thus the mercy of Jehovah, working by the hands of these two angels, reaches forth and grasps Lot and his wife and daughters from the impending ruin.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Genesis 19:16. While he lingered — He did not make so much haste as the case required, and this would have been fatal to him, if the angels had not laid hold on his hand, and brought him forth. Herein the Lord was merciful to him; and if God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https: 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He lingered, intreating the Lord to save the city; and loath, perhaps to lose all his property, for the sake of which he had chosen that abode. --- Spared him, and his wife and two daughters, for his sake. These four were all that were even tolerably just: for we find them all soon giving signs of their weakness, and of the danger to which even the best are exposed by evil communications. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But he hung back, and the men seized his hand, and the hand of his wife, and the hands of his two daughters, Yahweh being merciful to him, and brought him out and placed him outside the city.’

Lot was still not sure. He did not want to leave behind what he had gained through years of toil and effort. But Yahweh had mercy on him. He would not leave him to die. The angels took the family forcibly to the outside of the city. And there Yahweh Himself speaks to him. The change from ‘they’ to ‘he’, as in Genesis 18, demonstrates a moment of revealing. Now Yahweh Himself takes over Lot’s fate.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https: 2013.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

lingered. See Genesis 19:14.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) And while he lingered.—Heb., and he lingered. Lot still clung to his wealth, and could not make up his mind to leave it, and so at length the angels took him by the hand and compelled him to quit the doomed city.

The Lord being merciful unto him.—Heb., in Jehovah’s pity for him. (Comp. Isaiah 63:9.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
Psalms 119:60; John 6:44
the Lord
Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 4:31; 1 Chronicles 16:34; Psalms 34:12; 86:5,15; 103:8-10; Psalms 103:13; 106:1,8; 107:1; 111:4; 118:1; 136:1; Isaiah 63:9; Lamentations 3:22; Micah 7:18,19; Luke 6:35,36; 18:13; Romans 9:15,16,18; 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 2:4,5; Titus 3:5
Joshua 6:22; 2 Peter 2:9

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 19:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

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