Overall meaning :
Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, says to His Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace: The followers of the Torah—the Jews—ask you, out of sheer stubbornness, to bring down for them a book from heaven. Do not pay attention to what they say and do not wonder at the demands they make, for they asked Moses for something even greater than that, when they said, ‘Show us Allah openly,’ and a thunderbolt struck them for their wrongdoing. He saved them but they still reverted to their evil deeds and worshipped the calf even after having seen the clear, conclusive signs Moses had brought them. He pardoned even that after their repentance, and He gave Moses clear signs and manifest, decisive proofs confirming the truthfulness of what he had brought.
Then He mentions the time when He raised the mountain high above them to frighten them into submission when they refused to follow the Torah which they had solemnly pledged themselves to observe. He also mentions the time when He commanded them to enter Jerusalem by one of its gates bowing down to Him with humility and asking Him for forgiveness, and also when he warned them against breaking the Sabbath, stating that He had taken them into covenant with Himself and they solemnly bound themselves to do what He commanded and avoid what He prohibited.
He has excluded them from His grace and mercy, he explains, because of their violating the covenants they have made with Him, for rejecting His signs, for unjustly killing the prophets and for saying, ‘Our hearts are wrapped up in covers’, and so they are unable to understand—rather, Allah has sealed their hearts on account of their unbelief, so that they do not believe but a little in what they are required to believe in. Likewise, He has excluded them from His mercy for their unbelief and for falsely bringing adultery charges against Mary, and for saying that they killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah. By no means did they kill him, nor did they crucify him, as they claim, but his likeness was cast on another person, whom they thought was Jesus, peace be upon him, and so they apprehended and crucified him in his stead. Those among the Jews and Christians who disagreed about him were in real doubt concerning him; they knew nothing about him that was not sheer conjecture. They were not quite certain the person they killed was Jesus, peace be upon him. Rather, Allah raised him up to Himself and he was not in the least harmed by them; for Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
Allah Almighty then explains that none among the People of the Book but will, after the return of Jesus during the end times, believe in him before Jesus’s death; and on the Day of Resurrection he will bear witness against them.
As punishment for the wrong committed by the Jews and their often turning away from the truth and turning people away from it, Allah further states, He made unlawful for them many pure, wholesome things which He had previously made lawful for them; and also because of their practising usury—although they had been forbidden it—and for unjustly seizing people’s property, pointing out that He has prepared for the unbelievers among them a painful punishment.
He then explains that not all Jews have such bad characteristics. There are among them some who are firmly grounded in knowledge and benefit from it, who believe in Allah and all His messengers and believe the Qur’an that has been sent down to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the books that were sent down before him, duly perform the prescribed prayers, pay zakat to those eligible for it and truly believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement. He promises that He will give these an immense and rich reward—Paradise.