Qaala innahoo yaqoolu innahaa baqaratul laa zaloolun tuseerul arda wa laa tasqil harsa musallamatullaa shiyata feehaa; qaalul 'aana jita bilhaqq; fazabahoohaa wa maa kaado yaf'aloon
He said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to plow the earth nor to irrigate the field, one free from fault with no spot upon her.' " They said, "Now you have come with the truth." So they slaughtered her, but they could hardly do it.
And Moses said: "He says it's a cow unyoked, nor worn out by ploughing or watering the fields, one in good shape with no mark or blemish." "Now have you brought us the truth," they said; and then, after wavering, they sacrificed the cow.
Ahmed Raza Khan
Said Moosa, “He says, ‘She is a cow not made to work, neither ploughing the soil nor watering the fields; flawless and spotless’; they said, “You have now conveyed the proper fact”; so they sacrificed it, but seemed not to be sacrificing it (with sincerity).
He (Moses) answered: "He says, it is a cow unyoked to plough the earth or water the tillage, one kept secure and sound, with no blemish on it." "Now you have brought the truth," they answered; and they sacrificed it, though they all but did not.
Amatul Rahman Omar
He said, `He (- God) says, "It is indeed a cow neither broken in to plough the land nor to water the tillage, perfectly sound (without any blemish), no spot on her", (she is of one colour).´ They said, `Now you have (after all) brought the exact truth (with the necessary description).´ So they slaughtered her, though they had no mind to do it.
A. J. Arberry
He said, 'He says she shall be a cow not broken to plough the earth or to water the tillage, one kept secure, with no blemish on her.' They said, 'Now thou hast brought the truth'; and therefore they sacrificed her, a thing they had scarcely done.
Abdul Majid Daryabadi
He said: verily He saith, verify she should be a cow unyoked, not broken to till the ground or to water the field, whole, and without blemish in her. They said: now hast thou brought the truth. Then they slaughtered her, and they were wellnigh not doing it.
Said Moosa, "He says, ‘She is a cow not made to work, neither ploughing the soil nor watering the fields; flawless and spotless’; they said, "You have now conveyed the proper fact"; so they sacrificed it, but seemed not to be sacrificing it (with sincerity).
Hamid S. Aziz
He answered, "He said, it is a heifer, not broken in to plough the earth or irrigate the tilth, a sound one with no blemish on her." They said, "Now have you brought the truth." And they slaughtered her, though they came near leaving it undone (without goodwill).
Hilali & Khan
He [Musa (Moses)] said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no other colour except bright yellow.' " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
He said, “He says she is a heifer, neither yoked to plow the earth, nor to irrigate the field; sound without blemish.” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” So they slew her; though they almost did not.
He said: "That He says that it is a cow not manipulated/eased , it ploughs the earth, and does not water/irrigate the agricultural land/plants flawless, no marks/different colours in it." They said: "Now, you came with the truth/fact " So they slaughtered it , and they were not about to make/do (it).
Abul Ala Maududi
Moses answered, "Allah says that she should be a cow which has not been yoked nor has ploughed the land nor watered the fields; which is sound and whole, without belemish. " Then they cried out, "Now you have given an accurate description. " Then they sacrificed her but they did not appear to be doing this willingly.
Maulana Mohammad Ali
(Moses) said: He says: She is a cow not made submissive to plough the land, nor does she water the tilth, sound, without a blemish in her. They said: Now thou has brought the truth. So they slaughtered her, though they had not the mind to do (it).
He (Musa) said, "He says, `It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields, sound, having no blemish in it.' " They said, "Now you have brought the truth." So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall
(Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.
Ali Quli Qarai
He said, ‘He says, She is a cow not broken to till the earth or water the tillage, sound and without blemish.’ They said, ‘Now have you come up with the truth!’ And they slaughtered it, though they were about not to do it.
Qaribullah & Darwish
He replied: 'He says: "She is a cow, neither worn out plowing the earth nor watering the field, one kept secure free from any blemish.' 'Now you have brought us the truth' they answered. And they slaughtered her, after they had been reluctant to do so.
(Moses) said, "The Lord says that it must not have even tilled the soil nor irrigated the fields and it must be free of blemishes and flaws." They said, "Now you have given us the right description." After almost failing to find it, they slaughtered the cow.
Mohammad Habib Shakir
Musa said: He says, Surely she is a cow not made submissive that she should plough the land, nor does she irrigate the tilth; sound, without a blemish in her. They said: Now you have brought the truth; so they sacrificed her, though they had not the mind to do (it).
Moses answered, "Your Lord says, she should be a heifer which has not been yoked to plough the land or water the fields, a heifer free from any blemish." "Now you have told us the truth," they answered, and they sacrificed it, though they would rather not have done it.
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
He said; "He says; A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said; "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.
He said, `He says she shall be a cow not broken, not subdued for labour, that is, to plough the earth, churning its soil for sowing (tuthr al-ard; the clause describes the word dhall, and constitutes part of the negation); or to water the tillage, that is, the land prepared for sowing; one safe, from faults and the effects of toil; with no blemish, of a colour other than her own, on her'. They said, `Now you have brought the truth', that is, [now] you have explained it clearly; they thus sought it out and found it with a boy very dutiful towards his mother, and they eventually purchased it for the equivalent of its weight in gold; and so they sacrificed her, even though they very nearly did not, on account of its excessive cost. In a hadth [it is stated that], `Had they sacrificed any cow, it would have sufficed them, but they made it difficult for themselves and so God made it difficult for them'.
Tafseer Ibn Kathir
قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ لاَّ ذَلُولٌ تُثِيرُ الَارْضَ وَلَا تَسْقِي الْحَرْثَ
He says, `It is a cow neither trained to till the soil nor water the fields,'
meaning, it is not used in farming, or for watering purposes. Rather, it is honorable and fair looking.
Abdur-Razzaq said that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said that,
مُسَلَّمَةٌ لاَّ شِيَةَ فِيهَا
sound, having no blemish in it."'
means, "The cow does not suffer from any defects."
This is also the opinion of Abu Al-Aliyah and Ar-Rabi.
Mujahid also said that;
the Ayah means the cow is free from defects.
Further, Ata' Al-Khurasani said that;
the Ayah means that its legs and body are free of physical defects.
قَالُواْ الانَ جِيْتَ بِالْحَقِّ
They said, "Now you have brought the truth."
فَذَبَحُوهَا وَمَا كَادُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
So they slaughtered it though they were near to not doing it.
Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayahmeans,
"They did not want to slaughter it."
This means that even after all the questions and answers about the cow's description, the Jews were still reluctant to slaughter the cow.
This part of the Qur'an criticized the Jews for their behavior, because their only goal was to be stubborn, and this is why they nearly did not slaughter the cow.
Also, Ubaydah, Mujahid, Wahb bin Munabbih, Abu Al-Aliyah and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said,
"The Jews bought the cow with a large amount of money."
There is a difference of opinion over this