The Stubbornness of the Jews
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,
وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَهُمُ الطُّورَ بِمِيثَـقِهِمْ
“And for their covenant, We raised over them the mount…”
This was when they refrained from implementing the rulings of the Torah and refused what Prophet Musa aalyhi salaam brought them from Allah. So Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala raised the mountain above their heads and they were ordered to prostrate, which they did. Even so, they were looking above when they were prostrating for fear that the mountain might fall on them.
Allah then said,
وَقُلْنَا لَهُمُ ادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّداً
“…and We said, ‘Enter the gate prostrating (or bowing) with humility'”
When they were commanded to enter Bayt Al-Quds (in Jerusalem) while bowing and saying “Hittah”, meaning: ‘O Allah! take from us our sin of abandoning Jihad.’ This was the cause of their wandering in the desert of Tih for forty years. Yet, they entered the House while crawling on their rear ends and saying `Hintah (a wheat grain) in Sha`rah (the hair)’.
وَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ لاَ تَعْدُواْ فِى السَّبْتِ
“and We commanded them, ‘Transgress not the Sabbath (Saturday).'”
When Bani Israel got freedom from Fir’awn, a city to settle in and normalcy returned to their lives, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded them to put aside Saturday for worship. On the day, [the day of Sabbath] they were told not to get involved in any of the worldly matters and just focus on their ibadah. The Bani Israel, whose source of income was fishery, would put nets on Friday night to catch fish and take them out on Sunday. In a way, they were not working on Saturday, yet they had found a way of making it possible to earn and not miss any opportunity. They were strictly warned not to transgress but they disobeyed and didn’t honor the Sabbath or what Allah prohibited them on that day.
وَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُمْ مِّيثَـقاً غَلِيظاً
“And We took from them a firm covenant.”
A strong and inviolable covenant was taken from them yet they rebelled, transgressed and committed what Allah prohibited by using deceit and trickery. This is practical example of hypocrisy. Several covenants were taken from Bani Israel but they broke them.
– It tells about the obligation of honoring covenants/promises.
– When people are in good times, they take their responsibilities lightly. People may be following a proper routine during weekdays but when the weekend approaches, they sleep in late till 10 am missing out Fajr Salah. On Friday or Saturday night they indulge in activities that they shouldn’t.
– A person should be humble when he is given a blessing. The Jews kept breaking one covenant after another and were extremely stubborn in their behavior. Therefore, honor of the best nation was taken from them and given to the Muslims. When we are not humble, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has the power to take away our blessings.