138 The CORÂN
أن يؤمنوا أي اليهود "They hear the word of God, in the Pentateuch," يسمعون كلام الله في التوراة Jelalooddeen. "They hear the word of God, that is to say, the Pentateuch," يسمعون كلام الله يعني التوراة Baidhâwi. "Then they pervert it, as the description of Mahomet, or the Verse of stoning; or the explanation thereof, and they interpret the same accordingly as they desire," ثم يحرفونه كنعت محمد وآية الرجم او تأويله فيفسرونه بما يشتهون Ibid. The latter construction, as natural in itself, and consistent with other notices throughout the Corân of the conduct of the Jews, and the testimony there borne from first to last in favour of the Jewish as well as of the Christian Scriptures, is evidently the one to be adopted.

The tenor of the passage is this:—"What! do you expect to convert the Jews to the truth, seeing that they have already heard the truth in the word of God as contained in their own Scriptures, and have perverted that truth intentionally? How can you hope to succeed with men who have shown themselves proof against the word of God? For they have already read the word of God in the Old Testament, and wilfully perverted its meaning, 'interpreting it as they please.' Will the word of God, as inculcated by you out of the Corân, have any better effect upon them?"

This is much the same way in which Christians of the present day might speak of the Jews; thus,—"they have already misused and perverted the word of God as contained in their own Scriptures, which should


have led them to believe in Christ:—and having done so, there is little hope of gaining them over to the truth, by an appeal to the further word of God as contained in the New Testament." Yet the Christians do not the less accept and believe in the Jewish Scriptures.

What a full testimony is borne in this verse to the Divine origin and authority of the Scripture in use amongst the Jews in the days of Mahomet, by the application to it of the sacred title, "The word of God," كلام الله ! Why is the Corân valued by Mahometans? Simply because it is believed to be "the word of God." Ought they not therefore to pay a similar reverence to the "word of God" that preceded the Corân?

LXX.—SURA II., v. 76[-77].

سورة البقرة

وَإِذَا لَقُواْ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ قَالُواْ آمَنَّا وَإِذَا خَلاَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىَ بَعْضٍ قَالُواْ أَتُحَدِّثُونَهُم بِمَا فَتَحَ اللّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لِيُحَآجُّوكُم بِهِ عِندَ رَبِّكُمْ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
أَوَلاَ يَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا يُسِرُّونَ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

And when they (the Jews of Medîna,) meet the believers, they say,—We believe; but when they retire privately one with the other, they say,—Why do ye acquaint them with what God hath revealed to you, that they may therewith dispute with you before your Lord?
What do ye not understand? Do they not know that God knoweth what they conceal as well as that which they make public?