Ayah

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٌ وَرِثُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ يَأۡخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَٰذَا ٱلۡأَدۡنَىٰ وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغۡفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأۡتِهِمۡ عَرَضٌ مِّثۡلُهُۥ يَأۡخُذُوهُ ۚ أَلَمۡ يُؤۡخَذۡ عَلَيۡهِم مِّيثَٰقُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ أَن لَّا يَقُولُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلۡحَقَّ وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ ۗ وَٱلدَّارُ ٱلۡءَاخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ

Translation

After them succeeded an (evil) generation: They inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the vanities of this world, saying (for excuse): "(Everything) will be forgiven us." (Even so), if similar vanities came their way, they would (again) seize them. Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them, that they would not ascribe to Allah anything but the truth? and they study what is in the Book. But best for the righteous is the home in the Hereafter. Will ye not understand?<br/>

Tafsir

And there succeeded after them a generation who inherited the Scripture, the Torah, from their forefathers, choosing the transient things of this inferior [life], that is, the ephemeral aspects of this lowly thing that the world is, in the way of what is lawful and what is unlawful, and saying, 'It will be forgiven us', what we have done; and yet if similar transient things were to come to them, they would take them (wa-in ya'tihim 'aradun mithluhu ya'khudhoohu: this sentence is a circumstantial qualifier), in other words, they hope for forgiveness whilst committing the same offence again and persisting in it: and in the Torah there is no [such] promise about forgiveness for persistence [in sin]. Has not the covenant of the Scripture (meethaaqu l-kitaabi, the annexation functions in place of fee, 'in' [sc. 'the covenant in the Scripture']) been taken (a-lam yu'khadh, 'has [it] not been taken', is an interrogative meant as an affirmative) from them that they should not say about God anything but the truth? And they have studied (wa-darasoo, is a supplement to yu'khadh, 'has it [not] been taken?'), they have read, what is in it, so why do they impute lies to it [the Scripture] by ascribing to it [the idea of] forgiveness for persistence [in sin]? And the Abode of the Hereafter is better for those who are wary, of what is unlawful. Do they not understand? (ya'qiloon, may also be read as ta'qiloon, '[do] you [not] understand?') that it is better and so prefer it to [the abode of] this world?

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