| And Pharaoh and those before him, and those subverted brought iniquity.
Ċ They disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a devastating blow.
9-10 These verses mark a shift from the discussion of the afflictions that befell the disbelievers from pre-Islamic Arabian tribes to those who disbelieved in prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Those before him indicates the generations before Pharaoh; if read with a different voweling (wa man qibalahu), however, it could be translated “those who were with him,” meaning those who followed Pharaoh (IK, R). Those subverted is most likely an allusion to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, to whom Lot had been sent as a messenger (R, Ṭ, Z); see 7:80-84; 11:77-83. The messenger of their Lord could refer to Moses, Lot, or both (R). In this context, some take messenger (rusūl) to mean “message” (risālah; Q), in which case the verse may refer to any of the disbelieving peoples mentioned in this sūrah. Devastating translates rābiyah, which indicates increase, suggesting either a punishment that surpasses that of all others (Q, R) or one that is devastating in this world but becomes more severe in the Hereafter, as with those who disbelieved in Noah: They were drowned, then made to enter a Fire (71:25; R).