Wherefore, woe unto those that write the Book (or the
Writing) with their hands, and then say,This is from God; that they
may sell it for a small price. Woe unto them for that which their hands have
written, and woe unto them for that which they gain!
A further continuation of the same passage.
The preceding context refers to ignorant persons who were acquainted only
with rabbinical glosses or foolish traditions. It would seem to be the same
persons who are here referred to as having written out such glosses or
traditions, and then brought them to Mahomet as possessed of divine
authority, saying perhaps that they were just as binding as the Scriptures
Al kitâb means literally "the writing," and not
necessarily the Jewish Scriptures. It may, however, be here taken as
signifying "the Book"; viz., that which these ignorant Jews wished
to be taken for the Scripture,or as similar in authority with it.
The text, then, describes a class of ignorant Jews who opposed Mahomet;
namely, those who wrote out passages probably from their traditions,
glosses, or rabbinical books, and brought them forward as authoritative and
divine;such glosses for instance as "that