Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(He said: O Moses! I have preferred thee above mankind) above the Children of Israel (by My messages and by My speaking (unto thee). So hold that which I have given thee) act upon that which I have given you, (and be among the thankful) that I chose to speak to you from among all people.
O Moses, surely I have chosen thee over the people through My messages and My speaking. So take what I have given thee, and be one of the thankful.
“O Moses, I have held you back from one thing, and that is vision, but I have specified you for many virtues. I have chosen you for messengerhood and I have honored you with eminence of state. Give thanks for all this and recognize these blessings. And be one of the thankful, and do not expose yourself to the station of complaint.” In this meaning has been sung,
If they turn away, they are the ones who came in tenderness.
How loyal they were, so be patient with them if they break off.
He, God, said, to him: ‘O Moses, I have elected you, chosen you, from among mankind, the people of your time, for My Messages (read plural, bi-risālātī, or singular, bi-risālatī, ‘for My Message’) and My Speech, that is, [for] My having spoken to you. So take what I have given you, of bounty, and be of the thankful’, of My favours.
'I have elected you from among mankind for My messages, this is the first degree of prophetic calling (istinbāÌ) that follows sanctity (walāya). So take what I have given you, through fixity, and be of the thankful', by being upright in fulfilling the due of servanthood, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, [once] said, 'Should I not be a thankful servantḍ'
Allah states that He spoke to Musa directly and informed him that He has chosen him above the people of his time, by His Message and by speaking to him. Here we should mention that there is no doubt that Muhammad is the chief of all the Children of Adam, the earlier and later ones among them. This is why Allah has chosen him to be the Final and Last Prophet and Messenger, whose Law shall remain dominant and valid until the commencement of the Last Hour. Muhammad's followers are more numerous than the followers of all Prophets and Messengers. After Muhammad, the next in rank of honor and virtue is Ibrahim upon him be peace,, then Musa, son of `Imran, who spoke to the Most Beneficent directly. Allah commanded Musa, saying,
فَخُذْ مَآ ءاتَيْتُكَ
(So hold to that which I have given you), of My Speech and conversation with you,
وَكُنْ مِّنَ الشَّـكِرِينَ
(and be of the grateful), for it and do not ask for what is beyond your capacity to bear. Allah stated that He has written lessons and exhortation for all things and explanations for all things on the Tablets. It was said that in the Tablets, Allah wrote advice and the details of the commandments for lawful and prohibited matters. The Tablets contained the Tawrah, that Allah described;
(And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture as an enlightenment for mankind)28: 43. It was also said that Allah gave Musa the Tablets before the Tawrah, and Allah knows best. Allah said next,
(Hold unto these with firmness), be firm on the obedience,
وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُواْ بِأَحْسَنِهَا
(and enjoin your people to take the better therein.) Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, "Abu Sa`d narrated to us from `Ikrimah from Ibn `Abbas that "Musa, peace be upon him, was commanded to adhere to the toughest of what was ordained on his people.'' Allah's statement,
سَأُوْرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَـسِقِينَ
(I shall show you the home of the rebellious), means, you will witness the recompense of those who defy My order and deviate from My obedience, the destruction, demise and utter loss they will suffer.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
After their departure from Egypt, when the Israelites became free from the shackles of slavery, and won the position of an independent nation, Prophet Moses was summoned to Mount Sinai by the Divine Command so that the Law should be given to him for them. This was the first summons of the series that is being mentioned here. Forty days were appointed so that he should prepare himself by fast, devotion, worship, prayer, deep thought, meditation and reflection for the heavy task that was about to be entrusted to him On this occasion prophet Moses left the Israelites at a place now called Wadiy-u-Shaikh, between Nabi Salih and Mt. Sinai. That part of the valley where the Israelites then encamped is now called Maidan-ur-Rahat. At one end of the valley is situated the hillock, where, according to the local tradition Prophet Salih migrated from the territory of Thamud. The mosque, which was built in his memory, stands there even today. On the other side, there is another hillock, called Jabl-i-Harun, where, it is said, Prophet Aaron had gone in protest against the cow-worship of the Israelites. On its third side is Mt. Sinai, which is 7359 feet above the sea level and is usually covered with clouds. On the top of this is the cave in which Moses spent forty days and nights and which has become a holy place of pilgrimage. There is a mosque of the Muslims and a church of the Christians near the cave and at the foot, a monastery built during the reign of Justinian, Byzantine Emperor. (For details, see E.N.'s 9, 10 of XXVIII).
Though Prophet Aaron was the elder of the two by three years, he was under Prophet Moses in the mission of Prophethood. In fact, Prophet Aaron was appointed as a Prophet to work as an assistant to Moses in response to his prayer. The fact that he was appointed by Allah as assistant to Prophet Moses has. been stated in XXV: 35.