50. And recall that We parted the sea for you, so We saved you, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh as you looked on.
51. And recall that We appointed for Moses forty nights. Then you took to worshiping the calf after him, and you turned wicked.
52. Then We pardoned you after that, so that you might be grateful.
53. And recall that We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion, so that you may be guided.
54. And recall that Moses said to his people, “O my people, you have done wrong to yourselves by worshiping the calf. So repent to your Maker, and kill your egos. That would be better for you with your Maker.” So He turned to you in repentance. He is the Accepter of Repentance, the Merciful.
55. And recall that you said, “O Moses, we will not believe in you unless we see God plainly.” Thereupon the thunderbolt struck you, as you looked on.
56. Then We revived you after your death, so that you may be appreciative.
57. And We shaded you with clouds, and We sent down to you manna and quails: “Eat of the good things We have provided for you.” They did not wrong Us, but they used to wrong their own souls.
58. And recall that We said, “Enter this town, and eat plentifully from it whatever you wish; but enter the gate humbly, and say, ‘Pardon.’ We will forgive your sins, and give increase to the virtuous.”
59. But the wrongdoers among them substituted words other than those given to them, so We sent down on the wrongdoers a plague from heaven, because of their wicked behavior.
60. And recall when Moses prayed for water for his people. We said, “Strike the rock with your staff.” Thereupon twelve springs gushed out from it, and each tribe recognized its drinking-place. “Eat and drink from God’s provision, and do not corrupt the earth with disobedience.”
Here Gabriel continues to give Muhammad a glimpse into the past of what happened after Moses gave his commandments on the mount. As I said before, the wrath of God on these Jewish leaders is brought on by after saving them as a worthy people, they decided to turn their back on God. They were slaves of Egypt and were rescued by a messenger of God, yet they still didn’t believe. After Moses caught them in the act of ritual to this other god, they were caught by sheer surprise at the power of God when lighting struck.
The death and resurrection here to me is more symbolic that they died spiritually when they worshiped another deity, but were brought back to life when God showed them the awe and the power He has. There must have been a wild lighting storm that made them cower in fear, and some may have died from this storm, and it made them rethink their acts of worship to a powerless idol.
After they redeemed themselves fully (some of them), they started to spread out amongst the land and 12 tribes is an idea that the Israelites came from those different tribes. It’s an interesting concept and shows the diversity, but unity in people represented by the water flowing in different directions from the same source.