Ayah

Word by Word
وَٱتَّخَذَ
And took
قَوۡمُ
(the) people
مُوسَىٰ
(of) Musa
مِنۢ
from
بَعۡدِهِۦ
after him
مِنۡ
from
حُلِيِّهِمۡ
their ornaments
عِجۡلٗا
a calf
جَسَدٗا
an image
لَّهُۥ
[for] it
خُوَارٌۚ
(had) a lowing sound
أَلَمۡ
Did not
يَرَوۡاْ
they see
أَنَّهُۥ
that it
لَا
(could) not
يُكَلِّمُهُمۡ
speak to them
وَلَا
and not
يَهۡدِيهِمۡ
guide them
سَبِيلًاۘ
(to) a way
ٱتَّخَذُوهُ
They took it (for worship)
وَكَانُواْ
and they were
ظَٰلِمِينَ
wrongdoers
وَٱتَّخَذَ
And took
قَوۡمُ
(the) people
مُوسَىٰ
(of) Musa
مِنۢ
from
بَعۡدِهِۦ
after him
مِنۡ
from
حُلِيِّهِمۡ
their ornaments
عِجۡلٗا
a calf
جَسَدٗا
an image
لَّهُۥ
[for] it
خُوَارٌۚ
(had) a lowing sound
أَلَمۡ
Did not
يَرَوۡاْ
they see
أَنَّهُۥ
that it
لَا
(could) not
يُكَلِّمُهُمۡ
speak to them
وَلَا
and not
يَهۡدِيهِمۡ
guide them
سَبِيلًاۘ
(to) a way
ٱتَّخَذُوهُ
They took it (for worship)
وَكَانُواْ
and they were
ظَٰلِمِينَ
wrongdoers

Translation

The people of Moses made, in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of calf, (for worship): it seemed to low: did they not see that it could neither speak to them, nor show them the way? They took it for worship and they did wrong.

Tafsir

And the people of Moses, after him, that is, after he had departed for the communion [with God], made of their ornaments, which they had borrowed from Pharaoh's folk on the pretext of a wedding celebration, and which remained in their possession, a calf, which the Samaritan had fashioned for them therefrom; a [mere] living body (jasadan is a substitution [for 'ijlan, 'a calf']), of flesh and blood, which lowed, that is, [which] made audible sounds [like a cow]: it [the calf] was transformed in this way when the dust, which he [the Samaritan] had collected from [where] the hoof of Gabriel's steed [had trodden], was placed in its mouth, for it has the effect of [giving] life to that in which it is placed (the second direct object of the verb ittakhadha, '[they] made', has been omitted, but it would be ilaahan, '[as] a god'). Did they not see that it spoke not to them, nor guided them to any way?, so how can it be taken as a god? Yet they took it as such, a god, and were evildoers, for taking it so.

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