Genesis 19:19
Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
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(19) Lest some evil.—Heb., lest the evil, lest the threatened calamity overtake me and I die.

19:1-29 Lot was good, but there was not one more of the same character in the city. All the people of Sodom were very wicked and vile. Care was therefore taken for saving Lot and his family. Lot lingered; he trifled. Thus many who are under convictions about their spiritual state, and the necessity of a change, defer that needful work. The salvation of the most righteous men is of God's mercy, not by their own merit. We are saved by grace. God's power also must be acknowledged in bringing souls out of a sinful state If God had not been merciful to us, our lingering had been our ruin. Lot must flee for his life. He must not hanker after Sodom. Such commands as these are given to those who, through grace, are delivered out of a sinful state and condition. Return not to sin and Satan. Rest not in self and the world. Reach toward Christ and heaven, for that is escaping to the mountain, short of which we must not stop. Concerning this destruction, observe that it is a revelation of the wrath of God against sin and sinners of all ages. Let us learn from hence the evil of sin, and its hurtful nature; it leads to ruin.The visitors now take steps for the deliverance of Lot and his kindred before the destruction of the cities. All that are related to him are included in the offer of deliverance. There is a blessing in being connected with the righteous, if men will but avail themselves of it. Lot seems bewildered by the contemptuous refusal of his connections to leave the place. His early choice and his growing habits have attached him to the place, notwithstanding its temptations. His married daughters, or at least the intended husbands of the two who were at home ("who are here"), are to be left behind. But though these thoughts make him linger, the mercy of the Lord prevails. The angels use a little violence to hasten their escape. The mountain was preserved by its elevation from the flood of rain, sulphur, and fire which descended on the low ground on which the cities were built. Lot begs for a small town to which he may retreat, as he shrinks from the perils of a mountain dwelling, and his request is mercifully granted.18, 19. Lot said … Oh, not so, my Lord … I cannot escape to the mountain—What a strange want of faith and fortitude, as if He who had interfered for his rescue would not have protected Lot in the mountain solitude. I cannot escape to the mountain, because of the infirmity of my age, and the fainting of my spirits. Thus he showeth an unworthy and unreasonable distrust of God’s power and goodness, which he had now experienced and acknowledged.

Behold, now thy servant hath found grace in thy sight,.... In sending two of his angels to him, to inform him of the approaching destruction of Sodom; to pluck him out of it as a brand out of the burning, and to place him without the city, and in directing and encouraging him to escape for his life:

and thou hast magnified thy mercy which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; he owns it was owing to the mercy of this illustrious Person, whom he knew and acknowledges, by what he says, to be a divine one, that his life was saved; and that this appeared exceeding great in it, that he should spare him and his family, when such multitudes of souls would perish; and he might have perished with the rest, if he had not had timely notice in such a gracious manner:

and I cannot, or, "but now (x), I cannot"

escape to the mountain; it is too far for me; he signifies that his strength would not hold out through the fatigues of the night past, and want of sleep and rest; but this was owing more to the infirmity of his mind than of his body, for he could go to this same mountain afterwards:

lest some evil take me, and I die; or "that evil" (y), the burning of Sodom, and the cities of the plain, lest that should overtake him before he got to the mountain: thus he began to distrust the power of God to strengthen him to go thither, who had appeared so wonderfully for him in his present deliverance; and he might have assured himself, that he that brought him out of Sodom would never suffer him to perish in the destruction of it.

(x) "jam vero ego non-potero", Schmidt. (y) "malum hoc", Tigurine version; some in Drusius, Piscator, Schmidt.

Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:
19. found grace] Cf. Genesis 6:8 (J).

thy mercy] Lat. misericordiam tuam. The LXX rendering, τὴν δικαιοσύνην, is a good illustration of the latitude given to “righteousness” as embodying compassion. Cf. Matthew 6:1.

I cannot escape to the mountain] Lot speaks as if he were too old (cf. Genesis 19:31) and weak for flight over rough ground. He fears he could not find refuge in the mountains in time.

evil] Better, as R.V. marg., the evil. The evil means the doom of impending catastrophe.

Verse 19. - Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight (cf. Genesis 18:3), and thou hast magnified thy mercy (language inappropriate to be addressed to the angels, though exactly suitable if applied by Lot to Jehovah), which thou hast showed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil (more correctly, the evil, i.e. the destruction threatened upon Sodom) take me, and I die. Genesis 19:19When they left him here (הנּיח, to let loose, and leave, to leave to one's self), the Lord commanded him, for the sake of his life, not to look behind him, and not to stand still in all the plain (כּכּר, Genesis 13:10), but to flee to the mountains (afterwards called the mountains of Moab). In Genesis 19:17 we are struck by the change from the plural to the singular: "when they brought them forth, he said." To think of one of the two angels - the one, for example, who led the conversation - seems out of place, not only because Lot addressed him by the name of God, "Adonai" (Genesis 19:18), but also because the speaker attributed to himself the judgment upon the cities (Genesis 19:21, Genesis 19:22), which is described in Genesis 19:24 as executed by Jehovah. Yet there is nothing to indicate that Jehovah suddenly joined the angels. The only supposition that remains, therefore, is that Lot recognised in the two angels a manifestation of God, and so addressed them (Genesis 19:18) as Adonai (my Lord), and that the angel who spoke addressed him as the messenger of Jehovah in the name of God, without its following from this, that Jehovah was present in the two angels. Lot, instead of cheerfully obeying the commandment of the Lord, appealed to the great mercy shown to him in the preservation of his life, and to the impossibility of his escaping to the mountains, without the evil overtaking him, and entreated therefore that he might be allowed to take refuge in the small and neighbouring city, i.e., in Bela, which received the name of Zoar (Genesis 14:2) on account of Lot's calling it little. Zoar, the Σηγώρ of the lxx, and Segor of the crusaders, is hardly to be sought for on the peninsula which projects a long way into the southern half of the Dead Sea, in the Ghor of el Mezraa, as Irby and Robinson (Pal. iii. p. 481) suppose; it is much more probably to be found on the south-eastern point of the Dead Sea, in the Ghor of el Szaphia, at the opening of the Wady el Ahsa (vid., v. Raumer, Pal. p. 273, Anm. 14).
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