The children of Israel after the death of Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

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The children of Israel after the death of Prophet Musa (Moses), peace be upon him.

وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمْ فِي الاٌّرْضِ أُمَمًا مِّنْهُمُ الصَّـلِحُونَ وَمِنْهُمْ دُونَ ذَلِكَ وَبَلَوْنَـهُمْ بِالْحَسَنَـتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

(168. And We have broken them (the Jews) up into various separate groups on the earth: some of them are righteous and some are away from that. And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allah).)

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَرِثُواْ الْكِتَـبَ يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الاٌّدْنَى وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغْفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأْتِهِمْ عَرَضٌ مِّثْلُهُ يَأْخُذُوهُ أَلَمْ يُؤْخَذْ عَلَيْهِم مِّيثَاقُ الْكِتَـبِ أَن لاَّ يِقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ وَالدَّارُ الاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

(169. Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life saying: “(Everything) will be forgiven to us.” And if (again) the offer of the like (evil pleasures of this world) came their way, they would (again) seize them (would commit those sins). Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth And they have studied what is in it (the Book). And the home in the Hereafter is better for those who have Taqwa. Do not you then understand)

وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسِّكُونَ بِالْكِتَـبِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ

(170. And as to those who hold fast to the Book (act on its teachings) and perform the Salah, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.)

Surah 7 Al Araf Verse 168-170

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah states that He divided the Jews into various nations, sects and groups,

(And We said to the Children of Israel after him (after Musa died): “Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as a mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations).”)(17:104)

(some of them are righteous and some are away from that), some of them are led aright and some are not righteous, just as the Jinns declared,

(“There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary; we are groups having different ways (religious sects).”) (72:11) Allah said here,

(And We tried them), and tested them,

(with good and evil), with times of ease, difficulty, eagerness, fear, well-being and affliction,

(in order that they might turn (to Allah)) Allah said next,

(Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life) This Ayah means, after the generation made up of righteous and unrighteous people, another generation came that did not have goodness in them, and they inherited the Tawrah and studied it. Mujahid commented on Allah’s statement,

(They chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life) “They will consume anything they can consume in this life, whether legally or illegally. Yet, they wish for forgiveness,

(Saying: “(Everything) will be forgiven for us.” And if (again) the offer of the like came their way, they would (again) seize them.)” Qatadah commented on Allah’s statement,

(they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life) “This, by Allah, is an evil generation,

(which inherited the Book) after their Prophets and Messengers, for they were entrusted with this job by Allah’s command to them. Allah said in another Ayah,

(Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who neglect the Salah (the prayers).) (19:59)Allah said next,

(They chose the goods of this low life saying: “(Everything) will be forgiven to us.”) They wish and hope from Allah, while deceiving themselves,

(And if (again) the offer of the like came their way, they would (again) seize them.) Nothing stops them from this behavior, for whenever they are given an opportunity in this life, they will consume regardless of it being allowed or not.” As-Suddi said about Allah’s statement,

(Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation) until,

(and they have studied what is in it (the Book).) “Every time the Children of Israel appointed a judge, he used to take bribes. The best ones among them held a counsel and took covenants from each that they would not take bribes. However, when one of them would take bribes in return for judgment and was asked, `What is the matter with you; you take a bribe to grant judgment’, he replied, `I will be forgiven.’ So the rest of his people would admonish him for what he did. But when he died, or was replaced, the one who replaced him would take bribes too. Therefore, Allah says, if the others (who admonished him) would have a chance to loot this world, they will take it.”’ Allah said,

(Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth) thus, admonishing them for this behavior. Allah took a pledge from them that they would declare the truth to people and not hide it. Allah said in another Ayah,

((And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought) (3:187). Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn `Abbas said about the Ayah,

(Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth), “Their claim that Allah will forgive the sins they keep committing without repenting from them.” Allah said,

(And the home in the Hereafter is better for those who have Taqwa Do not you then understand) Encouraging them to seek Allah’s tremendous reward and warning them against His severe torment. Allah says here, `My reward and what I have are better for those who avoid prohibitions, abandon lusts and become active in the obedience of their Lord.’

(Do not you then understand) Allah says’ Do not these people, who preferred this life instead of what is with Me, have any sense to prohibit them from their foolish and extravagant ways’ Allah then praises those who adhere to His Book, which directs them to follow His Messenger Muhammad ,

(And as to those who hold fast to the Book) adhere to it, implement its commands and refrain from its prohibitions,

(and perform the Salah, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.)

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