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Behold! when they meet the men of Faith, they say: “We believe”: But when they meet each other in private, they say: “Shall you tell them what Allah hath revealed to you, that they may engage you in argument about it before your Lord?”- Do ye not understand (their aim)?

The following excerpt is taken from “Tafsir Ibn Kathir” under the commentary of the above verse pg. 220-222:

The Jews knew the Truth of the Prophet , but disbelieved in
Him

Allah said next,

And when they (Jews) meet those who believe
(Muslims), they say, “We believe”, but when they meet
one another in private…,

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas commented, (And when they (Jews) meet those who believe (Muslims), they say, “We believe”),

“They believe that Muhammad is the Messenger
of Allah, `But he was only sent for you (Arabs).”’

they say, “Shall you (Jews) tell them (Muslims) what
Allah has revealed to you, that they (Muslims) may
argue with you (Jews) about it before your Lord.”

However, when they meet each other they say,
“Do not convey the news about this Prophet to
the Arabs, because you used to ask Allah to grant
you victory over them when he came, but he was
sent to them (not to you).”

Allah then revealed,

And when they (Jews) meet those who believe
(Muslims), they say, “We believe,” but when they
meet one another in private, they say, “Shall you
(Jews) tell them (Muslims) what Allah has
revealed to you, that they (Muslims) may argue
with you (Jews) about it before your Lord.”

meaning, “If you admit to them that he is a
Prophet, knowing that Allah took the covenant
from you to follow him, they will know that
Muhammad is the Prophet that we were waiting
for and whose coming we find foretold of in our
Book. Therefore, do not believe in him and deny
him.”


Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,


“When the Jews met the believers they used to
say, We believe.' When they met each other, some of them would say,Do not talk to the
companions of Muhammad about what Allah has
foretold in your Book, so that the news (that
Muhammad is the Final Messenger) does not
become a proof for them against you with your
Lord, and, thus, you will win the dispute.”’

References:

Kathir, Ibn. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (surah 2 verse 76). https://archive.org/details/TafseerIbnKathirenglish114SurahsComplete

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