The following are few examples of the Qur’anic verses which were borrowed from Biblia Herbraica. Some of them were misinterpreted by Muslim commentators due to their lack of knowledge of Aramaic.
Qur’anic verses taken from the Hebrew Bible
Waqulna li Adam uskun anta wa zawjuka al jannata wa kula minha raghdan haythu shiâ€™tuma wa la taqruba hadhihi al shajarata fatakunu min aldhalimeen, Q. 2: 36, trans. â€˜we said: â€˜O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or trans. â€˜we said: â€˜O Adam! Dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or trans. eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall dieâ€ (Gen. 2: 16-17, NRSV).
Qulna ihbatu minha jameeâ€™an, Q. 2: 39. Muslim commentators render the following interpretations: 1-â€˜We said: Go forth, all of you, from hereâ€™ (M. Sher Ali); 2-â€™we said: Go down, all of you, from henceâ€™ (M. M. Pickthall); 3-â€™we said: Get ye down all from hereâ€™ (A. Yusuf Ali). The accounts are stated in the book of Genesis, it reads the following: â€œTherefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of lifeâ€ (Gen. 3: 23-24, NRSV).
Wa idh najjaynakum min aali Phirâ€™un yasumunakum suâ€™ alâ€™adhaab yadhbahuna abnaâ€™akum, Q. 2: 50, trans. â€˜and remember, we delivered you from the people of Pharaoh; they set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sonsâ€™ (A. Yusuf Ali). This verse is influence by the Bible. The commentator draws a parallel to the Bible concerning the bondage of the Jews in Egypt before the Exodus, he writes: â€˜The bondage of Egypt was indeed a tremendous trial. Even the Egyptiansâ€™ wish to spare the lives of Israelâ€™s females when the males were slaughtered, added to the bitterness of Israel. Their hatred was cruel, but their â€œloveâ€ was still more cruel. About the hard tasks, see Exod. i. 14: â€œThey made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their services, wherein they made them serves, was with rigour.â€â€™ The Jewish persecution by the Egyptian Pharaoh has been recorded in the book of Exodus. It reads the following: â€œThe Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field laborâ€ (Exod. 1: 13, NRSV).
Wa idh faraqna bikum al bahr fa anjaynaakum wa aghraqna aal Firâ€™un wa antum tandhurun, Q. 2: 51. Muslim commentators render the following interpretations: 1-â€˜And remember the time when We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaohâ€™s people, while you looked onâ€™ (M. Sher Ali); 2-â€˜And when We brought you through the sea and rescued you, and drowned the folk of Pharaoh in your sightâ€™ (M. M. Pickthall); 3-â€˜And remember we divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaohâ€™s people within your very sightâ€™ (A. Yusuf Ali). The commentator refers to the influence of the Bible on the Qurâ€™an. He writes: â€˜when the Israelites at least escaped from Egypt, they were pursued by Pharaoh and his host. By a miracle the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, but the host of Pharaoh was drowned: Exod. xiv. 5-31â€™. The story recorded in this verse is taken from the Bible. In the book of Exodus we read the following: â€œThe Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were dividedâ€ (Exod. 14: 21, NRSV). The ending /a/ in the Qurâ€™anic word â€œfaraqn[a]â€ represents the Eastern Syriac dialect.
These are just few examples of the Jewish Scriptures being borrowed by the Qur’an. Some of these stories go back two thousand years before the Qur’an came into existence.