In this verse and the ones preceding it, the Holy Qur’an observes all the movements of the Israelites and their followers up till the Jews of Medina, namely the Bani Qaynuqa’, Bani Nadhir, Bani Quraizah, and the Jews of Khaibar. These latter group of Jews had aroused trouble and hatred between the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, provoked the Prophet r and did abominable acts.
Here, Allah U. says:﴾وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ﴿ “And We did certainly give Musa the Torah”, and when the word ﴾الْكِتَابَ﴿ comes together with the mention of a specific Prophet, it will refer to the Book that had been sent down to that particular Prophet. Thus, the word here is referring to the Torah.
﴾وَقَفَّيْنَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ بِالرُّسُلِ﴿ “and followed up after him with messengers”: The word ‘Qaffaina’ comes from the word ‘Qafaa’ which means ‘that which comes immediately after something.’ Thus, after Musa u, Prophets had come successively to the Israelites. The Israelites believe that the big number of Messengers sent to them is a gift from Allah U, thus they claim:
﴾نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ﴿
“We are the children of God and His loved ones” [Surah Al-Ma’idah: 18].