130 The CORÂN

certainly be sent against them (i.e. the Jews) until the day of resurrection those that would afflict them with grievous distress;—verily thy Lord is swift in vengeance, and he is surely forgiving and merciful.
And We dispersed them in the earth amongst the nations;—there are of them that are virtuous, and there are of them that are not so. And We proved them with blessings, and with adversities, if perchance they might return.
And there succeeded after them a generation that inherited the book, who receive the temporal advantage of this world, and say,—It will be forgiven unto us. And if there come unto them an advantage the like thereof, they accept it. What! hath there not been taken from them the covenant of the book, that they should not say of God other than the truth, and they diligently study that which is therein.

This passage was probably revealed at Medîna, when a difference was beginning to arise between Mahomet and the Jews.

It contains an imputation against the Jews for misrepresenting the truth. But it is an imputation which does not in the least affect the scrupulous care with which they preserved their sacred books:—just as the Christians always have imputed, and do to this day impute, misrepresentation of the truth to the same people, though they implicitly receive their Scriptures as genuine and incorrupt.

On the other hand, the passage contains a fresh testimony to "the Book," as "inherited"; that is, handed down from generation to generation amongst the Jews.

The Jews are further accused of breaking the covenant that they would not speak of God other than the truth, (i.e. that they would not misrepresent the truth,) although they are in the habit of reading that which is


in their Book,— ودرسوا ما فيه —or rather of carefully perusing, or diligently studying it, for that is the force of درس. Their guilt is thus alleged to be aggravated by reading the inspired Scripture, and thus knowing the truth which they misrepresented. The text is thus evidence of the currency and constant use and study of the Scriptures amongst the Jews;—those same Scriptures which Mahomet uniformly attested.

Note the mention of the prophecy regarding the dispersion of the Jews.

LXIV.—SURA VII., v. 170.

سورة الأعراف

وَالدَّارُ الآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسَّكُونَ بِالْكِتَابِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ

But the next life is better (than the present) for those that fear the Lord; then why will ye not comprehend? and (the reward of the next life) is for those who hold fast by the book, and observe prayer; verily We shall not detract from the reward of the righteous.

This verse is a continuation of the passage just quoted under Article LXIII. It is addressed to the

Jews, and not only demonstrates the existence of the inspired Scripture in common use amongst them, but conveys the exhortation from God that the Jews are to hold fast by it يمسكون بالكتاب ; it implies, moreover, that those who do so shall obtain a full reward