The [conjunction] “And” implies the above phrases, ‘rolled up’ beneath the conciseness (ellipsis).
“He taught (‘Allama)” allusively praises knowledge, and indicates its high degree and that it is the pivot of the vicegerency. It is a sign too that the names [of things] are made known by Allah. This is corroborated by the relationships mostly obtaining between names and the things they signify. It suggests too that miracles are an act of Allah without intermediary, contrarily to [the claim] of the philosophers that wonders are the acts of wondrous spirits.
“Adam;” that is, the earthling whose vicegerency was willed by Allah the Most High and who was given the name of Adam by Him. The specific mention of the name is to applaud and proclaim it and to associate it with him.
“The names (al-asmā’):” the attributes, characteristics, and appellations that signify things. Or the [myriad] languages [or words and terms – al-lughāt] that the sons of Adam use (lit. have divided among themselves). Also, as indicated by “presented them (‘araḍahum),” it suggests that the names are identical to what they signify, as is claimed by the Sunnis.
“All of them (kullahā)” is a clear statement of the source of [Adam’s] distinction [vis-à-vis the angels] and of the miracle [of the names]. [That is, while man may acquire complete knowledge of the names, the angels’ knowledge is partial.]
The phrases: “Then He presented them to the angels and said: ‘Declare unto Me the names of these [things], if what you say is true.’ (Thumma ‘araḍahum ‘alā al-malā’ika fa-qāla anbi’unī bi-asmā’i hā’ulā’i in kuntum ṣādiqīn.)”
“Then (thumma):” by reason of the interval (al-tarākhī) indicated here, and as necessitated by the context (al-maqām), this implies [the unstated words]: “And [Allah] said: He is nobler than you and more worthy of the vicegerency.”
“He presented them (‘araḍahum):” that is, as though offered for sale. He set out for their inspection things of all sorts, as though presenting wares to customers or parading the ranks to the commander. In this is an indication that for intelligent beings things are goods they may buy through knowledge, and take possession of through naming them (lit. their names), and appropriate through representing their forms.
The [pronominal suffix] “-hum – them” is used for masculine rational beings so expounds the two things that render beings superior to others