The Children of Israel Rebel (20:83 – 20:97)

The Children of Israel Rebel

[20:83] “Why did you rush away from your people, O Moses?”
[20:84] He said, “They are close behind me. I have rushed to You my Lord, that You may be pleased.”
[20:85] He said, “We have put your people to the test after you left, but the Samarian misled them.”
[20:86] Moses returned to his people, angry and disappointed, saying, “O my people, did your Lord not promise you a good promise? Could you not wait? Did you want to incur wrath from your Lord? Is this why you broke your agreement with me?”
[20:87] They said, “We did not break our agreement with you on purpose. But we were loaded down with jewelry, and decided to throw our loads in. This is what the Samarian suggested.”
[20:88] He produced for them a sculpted calf, complete with a calf’s sound.* They said, “This is your god, and the god of Moses.” Thus, he forgot.
[20:89] Could they not see that it neither responded to them, nor possessed any power to harm them, or benefit them?
[20:90] And Aaron had told them, “O my people, this is a test for you. Your only Lord is the Most Gracious, so follow me, and obey my commands.”
[20:91] They said, “We will continue to worship it, until Moses comes back.”
[20:92] (Moses) said, “O Aaron, what is it that prevented you, when you saw them go astray,
[20:93] “from following my orders? Have you rebelled against me?”
[20:94] He said, “O son of my mother, do not pull me by my beard and my head. I was afraid that you might say, ‘You have divided the Children of Israel, and disobeyed my orders.’ “
[20:95] He said, “What is the matter with you, O Samarian?”
[20:96] He said, “I saw what they could not see. I grabbed a fistful (of dust) from the place where the messenger stood, and used it (to mix into the golden calf). This is what my mind inspired me to do.”*
[20:97] He said, “Then go, and, throughout your life, do not even come close. You have an appointed time (for your final judgment) that you can never evade. Look at your god that you used to worship; we will burn it and throw it into the sea, to stay down there forever.”
Footnote*20:88 & 96 The Samarian went to the spot where God spoke to Moses, and grabbed a fistful of dust upon which God’s voice had echoed. This dust, when mixed with the molten gold caused the golden statue to acquire the sound of a calf.

Why is the reason for God asking Moses the question in 20:83?

The Children of Israel had a choice, but despite all that they witnessed they chose the wrong path: 

Divine Intervention Keeps the Disbelievers in the Dark

[7:146] I will divert from My revelations those who are arrogant on earth, without justification. Consequently, when they see every kind of proof they will not believe. And when they see the path of guidance they will not adopt it as their path, but when they see the path of straying they will adopt it as their path. This is the consequence of their rejecting our proofs, and being totally heedless thereof.

[13:31] Even if a Quran caused mountains to move, or the earth to tear asunder, or the dead to speak (they will not believe). GOD controls all things. Is it not time for the believers to give up and realize that if GOD willed, He could have guided all the people? The disbelievers will continue to suffer disasters, as a consequence of their own works, or have disasters strike close to them, until GOD’s promise is fulfilled. GOD will never change the predetermined destiny.

Verse 20:87 shows the human tendency of self-justification. No matter the heinousness of the act someone they can find a way to justify the behavior to appease their egos.

He was so smart, he could convince himself of anything.

20:87 shows that the human being falls into sin when they become rich.

[96:6] Indeed, the human transgresses. [96:7] When he becomes rich. [96:8] To your Lord is the ultimate destiny.

The Children of Israel held as much of responsibility as the Samarian. If they were against his actions then he wouldn’t of had buy-in from everyone.

Interesting that in 20:88 both the plural “They” and singular “he” is used. Who is the “they” and who is the “he” in this verse? 

In 20:91 it shows the human tendency to try to justify a little bit of sin. I will sin now cause it feels good and then be righteous later. But if we do this then it shows we do not really believe.  

[12:9] “Let us kill Joseph, or banish him, that you may get some attention from your father. Afterwards, you can be righteous people.”*

Was Aaron’s intention of not wanting to divide the Children of Israel wrong?

It is interesting the level of patience that Moses had with them despite their continuous transgressions. They blamed Moses when Pharaoh threatened to kill their sons again 7:129, they complained to Moses about lacking in food variety 2:61, they asked Moses for a statue to worship 7:138. Then they worshiped the golden calf, even then he took seventy men and asked God for forgiveness 7:155.

[7:129] They said, “We were persecuted before you came to us, and after you came to us.” He said, “Your Lord will annihilate your enemy and establish you on earth, then He will see how you behave.”

[2:61] Recall that you said, “O Moses, we can no longer tolerate one kind of food. Call upon your Lord to produce for us such earthly crops as beans, cucumbers, garlic, lentils, and onions.” He said, “Do you wish to substitute that which is inferior for that which is good? Go down to Egypt, where you can find what you asked for.” They have incurred condemnation, humiliation, and disgrace, and brought upon themselves wrath from GOD. This is because they rejected GOD’s revelations, and killed the prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed and transgressed. 

[7:138] We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. When they passed by people who were worshiping statues, they said, “O Moses, make a god for us, like the gods they have.” He said, “Indeed, you are ignorant people. 

[7:155] Moses then selected seventy men from among his people, to come to our appointed audience. When the quake shook them, he said, “My Lord, You could have annihilated them in the past, together with me, if You so willed. Would You annihilate us for the deeds of those among us who are foolish? This must be the test that You have instituted for us. With it, You condemn whomever You will, and guide whomever You will. You are our Lord and Master, so forgive us, shower us with Your mercy; You are the best Forgiver.

20:96 shows that we shouldn’t believe everything we think. Also, our prepotency to sin is commensurate to the amount we have sinned. Inspiration can come from God or Satan.

[3:155] Surely, those among you who turned back the day the two armies clashed have been duped by the devil. This reflects some of the (evil) works they had committed. GOD has pardoned them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement.

We see a similar phenomenon today as to what the Samarian did with the dust to make the golden calf in regards to the mathematical miracle. People string numbers and verses and gematrical values of letters to produce new “discoveries” as proof to their messengership.

False Messengers Condemned

[6:93] Who is more evil than one who fabricates lies and attributes them to GOD, or says, “I have received divine inspiration,” when no such inspiration was given to him, or says, “I can write the same as GOD’s revelations”? If only you could see the transgressors at the time of death! The angels extend their hands to them, saying, “Let go of your souls. Today, you have incurred a shameful retribution for saying about GOD other than the truth, and for being too arrogant to accept His revelations.

False Messengers Incapable of Preaching the Worship of God ALONE*

[26:210] The devils can never reveal this.  [26:211] They neither would, nor could. [26:212] For they are prevented from hearing. [26:213] Therefore, do not idolize beside GOD any other god, lest you incur the retribution.

In 20:96 why is that that when the Samarian is explaining to Moses why he did what he did, her refers to Moses as a third person by saying “the place where the messenger stood” as opposed to “the place where you stood”

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