And they say: “The Fire shall not touch us but for a few numbered days:” Say: “Have ye taken a promise from Allah, for He never breaks His promise? or is it that ye say of Allah what ye do not know?”
Yusuf Ali writes:
The Jews in their arrogance might say:
Whatever the terror of Hell may be for other
people, our sins will be forgiven, because we are
the children of Abraham; at worst, we shall suffer a
short definite punishment and then be restored to
the “bosom of Abraham”.
This bubble is pricked here.
Read this verse with 2:81-82.
The general application is also clear. If Unfaith claims
some special prerogative, such as race, “civilization,”
political power, historical experience, and so on, these
will not avail in Allah’s sight. His promise is sure, but His
promise is for those who seek Allah in Faith, and show it
in their conduct.
Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (Surah 2 verse 80). Microsoft Word – 002 Baqarah.doc (quran4u.com)