Genesis 19:16

ESV But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
NIV When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.
NASB But he hesitated. So the men grasped his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, because the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out and put him outside the city.
CSB But he hesitated. Because of the Lord's compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters. They brought him out and left him outside the city.
NLT When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful.
KJV 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.

What does Genesis 19:16 mean?

Lot lingers. Even with a mob out to destroy him and those with him, Lot lingers. Even with powerful angels telling him to run to escape the wrath of God, Lot lingers. Why? We're not told, but lingering seems to be what has gotten Lot into this danger in the first place. He could have taken his family and left Sodom long ago, but he stayed. He waited. The wickedness grew worse and worse all around him, and he just didn't leave. Even in these last moments before judgment fell, Lot finds it difficult to force himself to leave behind the evil place he called home.

The angels, however, will not wait any longer. They grab all four members of Lot's family by the hand and seemingly drag them outside of the city to a safe distance. Why do they force Lot to go? We're told it's because the Lord is merciful.

In the previous chapter, Abraham had raised the question of God's character when it came to judging the righteous and the wicked. This chapter clearly reveals God's mercy toward Lot and, by extension, Abraham, even in the face of such rebellious wickedness nearby. That mercy even includes dragging a man like Lot by the hand, quite literally, in order to rescue him despite his own foolish actions.
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