Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Seest thou not) have you not been informed in the Scripture about (those unto whom a portion of the Scripture hath been given) those who were given knowledge of the Torah, (how they purchase error?) they choose Judaism, (and seek to make you (Muslims) err from the right way) i.e. abandon Islam. This was revealed about al-Yasa' and Rafi' the sons of Harmalah, two Jewish Rabbis, who invited 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy and his friends to embrace their religion.
Have you not seen those who were given a share, a portion, of the Book, namely, the Jews, purchasing error, with guidance, and desiring that you should err from the way?, that you should stray from the path of truth and be like them.
Have you not seen those who were given a share of the Book, that is, some part [of It], which is their admission of the truth despite their being veiled from religion, purchasing error, choosing to be veiled from religion, which is the path of the truth, in exchange for the guiding light of their preparedness and desiring that you should do the same. They are your enemy and God has knowledge of their enmity for you, then
Chastising the Jews for Choosing Misguidance, Altering Allah's Words, and Mocking Islam
Allah states that the Jews, may Allah's continued curse fall on them until the Day of Resurrection, have purchased the wrong path instead of guidance, and ignored what Allah sent down to His Messenger Muhammad. They also ignored the knowledge that they inherited from previous Prophets, about the description of Muhammad, so that they may have a small amount of the delights of this life.
وَيُرِيدُونَ أَن تَضِلُّواْ السَّبِيلَ
(and wishing that you should go astray from the right path.) for they would like that you disbelieve in what was sent down to you, O believers, and that you abandon the guidance and beneficial knowledge that you have.
وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِأَعْدَائِكُمْ
(Allah has full knowledge of your enemies) meaning, Allah has better knowledge of your enemies, and He warns you against them.
(and Allah is sufficient as a Wali (Protector), and Allah is Sufficient as a Helper) He is a Sufficient Protector for those who seek refuge with Him and a Sufficient Supporter for those who seek His help. Allah then said,
يُحَرِّفُونَ الْكَلِمَ عَن مَّوَاضِعِهِ
(there are some who displace words from (their) right places) meaning, they intentionally and falsely alter the meanings of the Words of Allah and explain them in a different manner than what Allah meant,
وَيَقُولُونَ سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا
(And say: "We hear your word and disobey) saying, "We hear what you say, O Muhammad, but we do not obey you in it,'' as Mujahid and Ibn Zayd explained. This is the implied meaning of the Ayah, and it demonstrates the Jews' disbelief, stubbornness and disregard for Allah's Book after they understood it, all the while aware of the sin and punishment that this behavior will earn for them. Allah's statement,
وَاسْمَعْ غَيْرَ مُسْمَعٍ
(And "Hear and let you hear nothing.'') means, hear our words, may you never hear anything, as Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the Jews' way of mocking and jesting, may Allah's curse descend on them.
(And Ra`ina, with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion.) meaning, they pretend to say, `Hear us,' when they say, Ra`ina (an insult in Hebrew, but in Arabic it means `Listen to us.').' Yet, their true aim is to curse the Prophet. We mentioned this subject when we explained Allah's statement,
(And if only they had said: "We hear and obey'', and "Do make us understand,'' it would have been better for them, and more proper; but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few.) meaning, their hearts are cast away from the path of righteousness and therefore, no beneficial part of faith enters it. Earlier, when we explained,
فَقَلِيلاً مَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ
(so little is that which they believe) which means they do not have beneficial faith.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
About the scholars of the people of the Book the Qur'an at many places has used words to the effect: "They have been given a part of the knowledge of the Scripture". These words have been used because the scholars had actually lost a portion of their Scriptures and had become strangers to the spirit and the real aim and object of the portion left with them. The only interest they took, in these was confined to polemical controversies, minor details of Commandments and philosophical subtleties of creed. That is why they were ignorant of the true nature of religion and were void of its essence, though they were called "Divines" and "Rabbis" and were the acknowledged leaders of their community.
The words used are: "who have become Jews" and not "who are Jews," for originally they were "Muslims" just as the community of every Prophet is Muslim. Then afterwards they degenerated and became merely "Jews".
They were guilty of perversion in three ways: (1) They effected changes in the words of the Scriptures; (2) they distorted the meanings of the text with false interpretations, and (3) they would sit in the assemblies of the Holy Prophet and his Companions and afterwards make false reports of what they heard there in order to create mischief against them by distortion. They would thus spread misunderstandings about Islam and pervert people from joining the Islamic Community.
That is, when the Commandments of Allah are recited to them, they 'say. sami`na (we have heard) aloud and `asaina (we have rejected) in a low voice, of they pronounce the word ata `na (we have obeyed) with such a twist of the tongue that it sounds as `asaina.
During their talk with the Holy Prophet, they would invite his attention, saying, Isma `a (please listen to us), and would add ghaira musma ` in, which has several meanings. It may mean : "You are such a respectable man that one cannot utter any word before you against your will", but it may also imply : "You are not worthy that one may speak to you." Another meaning is : "May Allah make you deaf!"
Have you not seen those who were given a share of the Book purchasing error and desiring that you should err from the wayḍ God has better knowledge of your enemies. God suffices as a Protector God suffices as a Helper. Some from among the Jews distort the words from their contexts and they say “We have heard and we disobey and hear as one who does not hear” and “Mind us” twisting with their tongues and slandering religion. If they had said “We have heard and obey” and “Hear” and “Consider us” it would have been better for them and more upright but God has cursed them for their unbelief so they believe not except a few. They practiced a deception but did not realize the way in which He deceived them in that they were given the book and then were deprived of the blessing of understanding so that they distorted [the words] and persisted [in their unbelief]. Some from among the Jews distort the words... They acted shamelessly toward the Messenger ﷺ and refused to show him respect so they were punished with doubt concerning his affair. Those who acted shamelessly devised a barrier between themselves and the blessing of [the Prophet's] companionship and the bounties of serving him. If they had hastened [instead] to reject the envy they felt and had accepted his state with veneration and honored [him] they would have found blessing in following him and happiness in both abodes. But how could they be otherwise when what had already been determined distanced themḍ They were kept back by fate qisma from the carpet of service khidma. There is no maneuvering that can help those held back by the [divine] decrees.