This is 4:153
يَسْأَلُكَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ أَن تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ كِتَابًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء فَقَدْ سَأَلُواْ مُوسَى أَكْبَرَ مِن ذَلِكَ فَقَالُواْ أَرِنَا اللّهِ جَهْرَةً فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ بِظُلْمِهِمْ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ فَعَفَوْنَا عَن ذَلِكَ وَآتَيْنَا مُوسَى سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا
Yasaluka ahlu alkitabi an tunazzila AAalayhim kitaban mina alssamai faqad saaloo moosa akbara min thalika faqaloo arina Allaha jahratan faakhathathumu alssaAAiqatu bithulmihim thumma ittakhathoo alAAijla min baAAdi ma jaathumu albayyinatu faAAafawna AAan thalika waatayna moosa sultanan mubeenan
The Aya says:
The people of the book ask you (O Muhammad) to bring down upon them a book from the sky. Then indeed, they asked Moses bigger than that, so they said: Show us Allah clearly, right then the thunderbolt took them by their transgression. Then they took the calf after the clear proofs came to them, so We forgave that, and We did bring Moses powerful, self evident proof.
My personal note:
The aya talks about the people of the book at the time of the prophet (pbuh) asking for a book to come down from the sky. The message is that their ancestors asked for bigger proofs despite the fact that Moses had very clear proofs of his message from God.
The other part is that despite those strong proofs from Moses, they still went and worshipped the calf. In a sense, there are two messages:
1- People ask for proofs often in order to strengthen their disbelief, rather than to believe.
2- Despite the proofs, and their clarity, people will still disbelieve.
This is not the same as when the person asks with sincerity and honesty and in order to strengthen belief. Examples are also many in the Qur’an such as Abraham asking to see how God brings out the dead, or the disciples of Jesus asking for a table to come from the heaven and so on.
So, when a person is asked for a proof, he or she should act accordingly and keep in mind that sometimes, asking for proofs as just excuses, whereas at other times, it is sincere. However, it becomes more obvious as an excuse when the proof is clear and the person keeps on asking fo more.
Translation of the transliterated words:
Yasaluka: they ask you (singular)
Note: the root is S-Hamza-L and it means asking. It could be asking a question and it could be asking for help and so forth. YASALU is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of asking is happening or will be by the subject (third person plural) to the object (KA= singular you).
Ahlu: people of
Note: the root is Hamza-H-L and one concrete meaning of the word is the fat that surrounds the back of the animal. It is used conceptually to mean family or any of the people that are closely associated with the entity being discussed. This could be because they are like the fat as in they engulf and protect and so forth and gain protection at the same time. AHLU means people of or family of.
Alkitabi: the book
Note: the root K-T-B and it means putting things together as in grouping the herd together or closing the lips or writing (the most common use), because in writing, one puts the letters and the ideas together. ALKITABA means, the process of writing or the book or anything related to it from the ideas to the ink and paper to the place where all is put together.
An: that/ to
Tunazzila: you (singular) bring down/ make arrive
Note: the root is N-Z-L and it carries the meaning of arrival to stay and descent. One concrete meaning is the descent of the person from his or her horse or camel as they arrive at the place where they plan to stay. TUNAZZILA is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of making arrive or making descend the object (KITABAN= a book) is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person singular).
AAalayhim: upon them
Kitaban: a book
Note: the root K-T-B and it means putting things together as in grouping the herd together or closing the lips or writing (the most common use), because in writing, one puts the letters and the ideas together. KITABAN means, the process of writing or the book or anything related to it from the ideas to the ink and paper to the place where all is put together.
Alssamai: the sky/ the above
Note: the root is S-M-W and it means rising. This word is used to mean many things that are related to that meaning. One of the meanings is name because when a person’s name is called, he or she would rise and respond. ALSSAMAI is the above or what is above, that is the sky or the heaven or any entity from the atmosphere to beyond that.
Faqad: then indeed
Saaloo: they asked
Note: the root is S-Hamza-L and it means asking. It could be asking a question and it could be asking for help and so forth. SAALOO is an action that is completed. It means: the action of asking happened by the subject (third person plural) to the object (Moosa= Moses).
Note: the root is K-B-R and it means big in quality or quantity or any other feature that denotes bigness. AKBARA means bigger in all the concepts of bigness.
Min: from/ than
Faqaloo: so they said/ they communicated
Note: FA means then or so or therefore. QALOO is derived from the root Qaf-W-L and it means saying in any way possible. QALOO is an action that is completed that is derived from the root. It means the action of saying happened by the subject (third person plural). This, in turn means: they said or they happened to say or communicate.
Arina: show us/ make us see
Note: the root R-Hamza-Y and it means viewing or seeing. ARINA is an order or a request addressed to a single person (in this case Moses). It means: show us or make us see.
Jahratan: clearly/ apparently
Note: This is a very interesting word that is somewhat difficult to explain. The root is J-H-R and it means to make things apparent and wide open with the aim of it being noticed and not missed. This is then is taken conceptually to mean any unhidden or loud expression in voice or vision and so on. JAHRATAN means the loud/ clear and unhidden and apparent. The context here suggests very clearly.
Faakhathathumu: then immediately took them
Note: FA means then or therefore or so. Sometimes, it takes the role of a sequence and in that case, it is an immediate sequence with no delay. AKHATHATHUMU is derived from the root root Hamza-KH-TH and it means taking. AKHATHAT is an action that is completed. It means: the action of taking the object (HUMU= them) is completed by the subject (third person singular feminine pointing to AlSSaAAiQATU= the thunderbolt).
alssaAAiqatu: the thunder bolt/ the killing loud sound
Note: the root word here is Sad-AIN-Qaf and it means to shout/to cry/to make a loud sound and all are associated with danger and a potential for death. SSAAiQA is the one that produces this sound which can be the very severe lightning/ thunderbolt. However, other things as an explosion can cause that as well. SSAAiQA has the potential of being lethal, or is lethal in much of the time.
Bithulmihim: by their injustice/ transgression
Note: Bi denotes that what comes after is a tool and/or an object or an association with an action that was mentioned. If it is an object of the action then it makes it stronger. THULMIHIM is derived from the root THA-L-M and it means darkness in the most concrete form. This word also takes the meaning of misplacing right from wrong and transgression or injustice since injustice is displacing right from wrong and a decision made in darkness. THULMI means injustice of or transgression of or displacement of right and wrong of. HIM means them.
Note: this is a sequence in time or space or whatever a sequence applies to. As opposed to the FA which is often used as an immediate sequence, the THUMMA allows for an immediate or relaxed sequence, with the possibility of intervening events, while the FA is an immediate sequence only with no intervening events.
Ittakhathoo: took for themselves
Note: WA is a letter that links what is before with what is after. This link is through inclusion, either one is included in the other or they are all included in the bigger sentence or bigger picture. WA often corresponds with “and/ addition” but the more encompassing meaning is in inclusion one in another or all in a bigger picture or sentence. ITTAKHATHOO is derived from the root Hamza-KH-TH and it means taking. ITTAKHATHOO is an action that is completed. It means: the action of taking for oneself the object (ALAAiJLA= the baby cow) is completed by the subject (third person plural).
alAAijla: the baby cow/ the young cow/ the calf
Note: the root is Ain-J-L and it means speed and to be in a hurry. It is conceptually used for wheel as a source of speed. ALAAiJL means the baby cow and that is probably because it is born in a hurry and it hurries to stand very fast(and GOD knows best).
Note: the root is B-Ain-D and it means further in time or space. In space it means farther in distance and in time, it means after. BaAADI here means: after.
Jaathumu: came to them
Note: the root is J-Y-Hamza and it means coming. One concrete word that is derived from this word is the pool where the rain water comes. JAAT is an action that is completed and that is derived from the root. It means that the action of coming happened by the subject (third person feminine plural) to the object HUMU which means: them.
Albayyinatu: the clarifiers/ the clear signs
Note: the root is B-Y-N and it means between. This word then assumes many meanings as separation and distancing between two or more things. It also carries the meaning of clarification between two things. Here, it adopts the meaning of clarification. ALBAYYINATU means literally the entities that clarify or that are self evidently clear.
faAAafawna: so we forgave/ We erased
Note: FA means therefore or so or then. AAaFAWNA is derived from the root Ain-F-W and it means erasing something through the effect of the wind. This is the concrete and in abstract it means erasing a fault from the record as in forgiving it or erasing something from one’s ownership as in giving it up to someone else. In this context, it points to not being accountable to what happened. aAAFAWNA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of erasing or making unaccounted the object (AAaN THALIKA= from that pointing to the worshipping of the calf and asking to see God) happened by the subject (third person plural pointing to Allah or Allah and His angels).
AAan: about/ away from/ from
Note: this word takes the meaning of from, but at times takes the meaning of away from or about and so on.
Waatayna: and we made come to/ and we brought to
Note: WA is a letter that links what is before with what is after. This link is through inclusion, either one is included in the other or they are all included in the bigger sentence or bigger picture. WA often corresponds with “and/ addition” but the more encompassing meaning is in inclusion one in another or all in a bigger picture or sentence. KANA is derived from the root K-W-N and it means being. ATAYNA is derived from the root Hamza-T-Y and it means in concrete the water that comes from the rain of another land. In concrete it means the coming of something or someone with many of it’s implications. ATAYNA is an action that is completed. It means: the action of making come of an object (Sultanan Mubeenan= self evident proof) to another object (MOOSA= Moses) happened by the subject (third person plural).
Sultanan: power/ popweful proof
Note: the root is S-L-TTA and it means power that can overcome obstacles. As a concept it can be extended to the power that is physical, mental, spiritual and power of argument and proof. SULTANAN can be any of the previous concepts and in this context, the power of proof.
Mubeenan: clear/ self evident/ clarifying
Note: the root is B-Y-N and it means in concrete between. The action of the verb is betweening. This betweening can mean clarifying because one can know better the difference between two things. It also can mean distancing because the betweening makes things become apart. MUBEEN is the one that makes between in a conceptual sense. In this context, SULTANAN MEBEEN carries the meaning of clear or self evident proof.
Salaam all and have a great day.