What does Genesis 18:30 mean?
ESV: Then he said, "Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak. Suppose thirty are found there." He answered, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
NIV: Then he said, "May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
NASB: Then he said, 'Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak; suppose thirty are found there?' And He said, 'I will not do it if I find thirty there.'
CSB: Then he said, "Let my lord not be angry, and I will speak further. Suppose thirty are found there?" He answered, "I will not do it if I find thirty there."
NLT: Please don’t be angry, my Lord,' Abraham pleaded. 'Let me speak — suppose only thirty righteous people are found?' And the Lord replied, 'I will not destroy it if I find thirty.'
KJV: And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find thirty there.
NKJV: Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
Verse Commentary:
Abraham has boldly questioned whether God's plan to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah is just, since there might be righteous people living there. In this context, "righteous" does not mean moral perfection, rather it means those who did not participate in the well-known sins of the city (Ezekiel 16:49–50; Genesis 19). God graciously allows a sinful mortal like Abraham to discuss the boundaries of His mercy, even as Abraham attempts to push God's standards further and further down.

Here, Abraham begs the Lord not to get angry with Him. Reading this passage with fresh eyes—knowing nothing else about God or His character as revealed in Scripture—one is likely to be concerned about Abraham's boldness, as well. Prior to this conversation, God destroyed virtually the entire race of man with a flood in Genesis 7. He has declared His intent to judge the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:17–21). We know how highly God values human righteousness, and we know what He is capable of when human beings indulge in wickedness.

Abraham, however, believes himself to be bargaining for the very life of his nephew Lot and his family. If he can get God to agree to spare the city for the sake of the right number of righteous people, perhaps Lot can be saved from God's judgment. The Lord has already agreed not to destroy the city if He finds 50, 45, or 40 righteous people there. Now the Lord agrees to 30.

Abraham, though, clearly knows how depraved this city is (Genesis 13:13; Genesis 14:22–23). He understands that 30 might still be more "righteous" people than the city can offer.
Verse Context:
Genesis 18:22–33 describes Abraham's negotiation with the Lord for the city of Sodom, where his nephew Lot and his family live. Previously, God spoke from a poetic human perspective, saying that He would judge Sodom and Gomorrah if their sins were as awful as they seemed. Here, Abraham recoils at the idea that the Lord would annihilate righteous people along with the wicked, beginning a sort of negotiation with God. Of course, God does not need to negotiate with man, and already knows how depraved Sodom is. This conversation with Abraham has nothing to do with changing God's mind; it has everything to do with proving, beyond all doubt, that God's actions here are just. God says He will spare Sodom for the sake of just ten righteous people; later passages show the city fails that test.
Chapter Summary:
Abraham hurries to offer respect and hospitality to three men who appear near his tent. Over the course of the chapter, the men reveal themselves to be the Lord and two angels in human form. As He had told Abraham in the previous chapter, the Lord now reveals to Sarah that she will have a son within the year. Later, the Lord poetically says He will investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, where Abraham's nephew Lot lives. Abraham asks, and the Lord agrees, not to destroy Sodom if God finds 10 righteous people there.
Chapter Context:
God appeared to Abraham in the previous chapter revealing, in part, that Sarah would bear Abraham a son within a year's time. Now the Lord appears again, this time in human form and accompanied by two disguised angels. He reveals to Sarah the same promise. She laughs, and the Lord insists that even her age isn't too hard for Him to overcome. Next the Lord reveals to Abraham that He will investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham receives the Lord's promise not to destroy Sodom (where Abraham's nephew lives) if He finds 10 righteous people in the city. Unfortunately, the city is beyond saving, and the next chapter details its utter destruction.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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