Last time we learned that Iblis (pbuh) became the first disbeliever by refusing to worship Adam.
We said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. 2:34
From that quote, I got the impression that Iblis was an angel, but I was told in the comments that that is incorrect. Iblis is not an angel; he's a jinn. Which is a different thing entirely. (A jinn is a creature made from fire that has free will. Angels are messengers of Allah that have no free will. Elves are small semi-divine beings with pointy ears.)
Still, I'm not convinced. Sometimes Iblis is called an angel in the Quran, and sometimes a jinn. And sometimes he seems to be both angel and jinn. (Is Iblis an angel or a jinn?)
But on with our story, such as it is.
Verses 35-38 repeat the Bible's story about Adam and the Garden of Eden (though the Quran doesn't call it that), with the talking serpent replaced by Satan.
Then Allah throws out his favorite line, where he tells us what he has planned for disbelievers. It's almost as common in the Quran as "And it came to pass" is in the Book of Mormon.
But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein. 2:39
A few verses later Allah says something good (the first good thing in the Quran). Don't hide the truth with falsehood.
Confound not truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.2:42
Then Allah gets back to hiding truth with falsehood.
But first he warns you about a time when he will refuse all prayers and help no one.
Guard yourselves against a day when no soul will in aught avail another, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be received from it, nor will they be helped. 2:48
Then, in verses 59-63, Allah repeats more nonsense from the Bible. Remember how he drowned the Egyptians, gave Moses the Law, and whatnot? How you worshiped the calf?
And how Allah told you to kill yourself?
And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. 2:54a
(See Who is on the Lord's side? for the Bible story that this is based upon.)
Yeah well, Allah did that because killing yourself would be "best for you." Allah is Relenting, Merciful, Retarded.
That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. 2:54b
As you read the Quran you'll notice that many of the Bible's stupidest stories are made even stupider in the Quran. Take Exodus 17:1-6 for example. In the Bible, Moses strikes a rock and water comes out for the Israelites to drink. In the Quran, the same thing happens but there are twelve springs that come out of the rock, one for each tribe of Israel.
When Moses asked for water for his people, We said: Smite with thy staff the rock. And there gushed out therefrom twelve springs (so that) each tribe knew their drinking-place. 2:60
2:62 is often quoted to show that the Quran is tolerant of other religions.
Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. 2:62
But this verse is far from clear (Must you believe in Allah, whatever was revealed to Muhammad, and the Last Day to avoid hell?) and it contradicts other verses.
And now we finally get to the fun stuff.
First Allah brags about turning Jewish Sabbath-breakers into "despised and hated" apes.
Ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated! 2:65
Then he tells the Jews to sacrifice a bright yellow cow.
Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish! ... They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. ... Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders. 2:67-69
But they weren't sure what cow to kill. All cows pretty much look alike to Jews.
They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and Lo! if Allah wills, we may be led aright. 2:70
Somehow they worked it all out, though, and killed a yellow cow.
And now you've got to help me understand the rest of the story, which happens in just two verses.
When ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding. And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life. 2:72-73
OK, I don't get much out of that. But this is what supposedly happened:
(Maybe a Muslim can explain it better for us in the comments.)
A man was murdered about the same time that the yellow cow was killed. Nobody knew who the murderer was. So Allah told the people to smite the dead man with a piece of the dead cow. When they did that, the dead man came to life and told everyone who had murdered him. (I hope I got that right.)
You can read all about it here.