The coherence of Al-Baqarah
With the loss of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) two main aides, his uncle Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah, the position of the Muslims became increasingly untenable. The Prophet (peace be upon him) was seeking an alternative home for the believers by his visit to Taif. A major breakthrough ensued in the form of an invitation from the people of Medina in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the believers settled. Surah Al-Baqarah being the first chapter to be revealed after the Prophet’s migration (hijrah) therefore encapsulates a dawn of a new era. It encompassed almost everything that could be branded new. A new beginning, a new community, a new identity, new rulings, interaction with new cultures which brought about new challenges. On one hand, it dealt with the Jewish community awaiting the coming of the Prophet as well as the newly formed hypocrite community in Medina. And on the other hand, a confrontation that appeared in the early Medinan phase in the form of the battle of Badr against the Makkan idolaters. With Medina being a new stronghold for the believers, it had inevitably become a place that was exposed to other cultures different to Makkah such as the Christian community which is discussed in the next Surah.
Surah Al-Baqarah consists of 286 verses and can be divided into nine main sections. The coherence in the form of a ring composition is best illustrated in the diagram below.
It can be noted from the diagram above that with the exception of A, E and I (which are the introduction, middle and conclusion), the sections begin with specific addresses: O mankind, O children of Israel and O you who believe. It is quite fascinating that when all mankind are addressed, the story that follows is of Adam – the one who all of us relate to. Naturally, the story of Musa follows on from the address ‘O children of Israel’ and the Muslims with ‘O you who believe’. Section A and I have a clear link between belief in the unseen and messengers. In the beginning the characteristics of the disbelievers are highlighted (6, 7) and the end mentions a supplication (286) for help against them; this demonstrates that taqwa (2) is a means to nasr (286).
Section B and H focuses on Allah’s encompassing knowledge. Although, this is a broad title, a number of similarities can be drawn between the two sections. In H, Allah mentions: The heavens and earth belong to Him (Ayatul-Kursi 255), there is no compulsion in the religion (256), He protects those who believe (257), Ibrahim challenges a King (Nimrod) (258), matters related to life and death (in the story of Uzair 259-260), a similitude of a garden (264), a threat from satan and Allah’s promise of forgiveness (268), charity (263), usury (riba) (275) amongst other things. Some of these very same themes occur in B, such as: A challenge to the disbelievers to produce a surah like the Quran (23) (as Ibrahim challenged the King), matters related to life and death (28), Allah created the heavens and earth (29) and in the story of Adam, satan makes him and his wife slip from the garden which results in their forgiveness.
The concept of intrigue is at the heart of the stories mentioned in both sections of B. On one hand, the angels question Allah about the wisdom of creating Adam (30) and a few verses earlier Allah responds with a parable of a mosquito to the hypocrites questioning Him (26). In contrast, Uzair and Ibrahim asked Allah matters pertaining to life and death (259-260). A parallel that can also be found is that in the earlier passage, life is discussed in contrast to the latter in which death is mentioned. Compare: “Who created you and those who were before you” (21); the sending of rain for crops (22), “you were dead and He gave you life then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life” (28) and the creating of Adam which follows on from this. With the later passage in which Ibrahim says to the king “”My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death.’” (258), Uzair says: “”How will Allah ever bring it to life after its death”” (259) Ibrahim says: “”My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.”” (260)
A matter that requires further research is whether the very same laws that Musa came to deliver to the Bani Israel (some of which are in section C), are the very same laws the Prophet (peace be upon him) delivered to the believers (in section G). In at least some of the matters mentioned, there are parallels and the way in which they are described are quite exquisite. Allah says in verse 53 that Musa was given the book (kitab) and yet we find that Allah uses this very same word to prescribe various laws for the Muslims: kutiba alaykum al-qisas, siyam etc (178, 180 and 183).
Of the laws which are similar or at least indicated are: The fasting of Ashurah (which is not mentioned) as a result of Pharaoh drowning (50) in contrast to the fasting of Ramadhan (183) mentioned in the latter passages. Jihad being commanded to the Bani Israel and the believers, in the former case it was in Jerusalem (58) and in the latter – Masjidul Haram (Makkah) (191). The transgressing of the Sabbath (65) and the warning of fighting in the sacred months (194). The slaughter of the cow (67) and the hady (sacrifice) of Hajj which can include a cow (196). The excessive questioning of the Bani Israel (67-74) and in at least seven instances: ‘They ask you’ is mentioned in section G, which is of a different nature. Whilst the Bani Israel asked their question to avoid performing actions, that resulted in the end ruling being more difficult than the original. The questions of the believers were genuine and were considered to be beneficial knowledge. In the tafseer of the story of the cow, it is stated that a man killed his uncle to gain the inheritance quickly, whilst later the concept of the will (180) is mentioned as well as qisaas (retaliation for the murder, 178). Part of the covenant of the Bani Israel was to be good to the family and orphans, which also appears later. Allah asks in verse 210, the number of favours that the Bani Israel were given which are mentioned in the earlier passages.
Allah mentions in section C, seeking help in patience through the salah and the end of G, divorcees are instructed to guard the middle prayer (238). The mention of drinking appears in both passages; water from the twelve springs and the river. In both cases, there was a warning attached; for the case of the twelve spring, “do not act corruptly, making mischief on the earth” (60) and the river was a form of a test (249). Another connection is that that river and the two angels were a test for the people (102). In both situations, the result was of separation, one between a husband and wife and the other from fighting against the army of Jalut. In C, the Bani Israel complained about manna and salwa (two types of heavenly food) (57) and in the G, another generation of them complained about Talut (247) who was appointed a King over them. Both sections allude to angels that are seen, in the earlier instance it was Haurt and Marut (99-103) and in the latter, it was the angels carrying the Tabut (249). A final example is that Dawud (peace be upon him) was mentioned in section G, whilst his son Sulayman (peace be upon him) mentioned in section C.
In section D, Allah mentions that wherever you turn, is the Face of Allah (115), whilst in the later passage, Allah states that it is not from Al-Birr (righteousness) that you turn your face to east or the west (177). Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is mentioned as one who will be tried and he was made an Imam (124) in contrast to, Allah stating that He will test the believers with fear, hunger, loss of wealth and their lives (155). The Kabah being built by Ibrahim and his son (peace be upon them both) (125) and Safa and Marwa being signs of Allah are mentioned later (158). Ibrahim (peace be upon him) makes a dua to make Makkah a place in which fruits and sustenance are provided (128). There is so much of this food as a result of this dua that in the later passage, certain types of food is prohibited (168-169). In verse 170, the people say they will follow the footsteps of their forefathers – Allah mentions them earlier; Ibrahim, Ismael, Ishaq, Yaqub, Al Asbaat (twelve sons of Yusuf), Musa and Isa (peace be upon them all) (136). But the emphasis remains on Ibrahim (peace be upon him) as the Makkan idolaters are being addressed.
In the middle of the Surah, Allah states: “Thus We have made you a Wasat nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad) be a witness over you.” The word wasat carries the meaning of just, best and middle. The Kabah being the central location for Muslim community fits in well with its placement in the Surah.
As can be seen from this brief article, the Quran is not an incoherent book. It is true that many of the scholars of the past did not discuss this matter in detail. Perhaps it was the aspersions the Orientalists purported that the words of Allah were incoherent, brought about an effort from the scholars of our time to respond to them. For every doubt they bring, this gives us time to reflect upon a matter that we had perhaps not thought of previously. Rather than being a source of doubt and confusion, it becomes a reason to increase our faith and appreciate the words of Allah even more. 
This Surah represents the highest levels of eloquence and it contains such deep meanings that it is said that it took Ibn Umar 8 years to memorise and act upon it.  In addition, Umar asked the famous poet, Lubaid to recite some of his famous poetry. He recited Surah Al-Baqarah instead and said: I cannot recite poetry after Allah has taught me Surah Al-Baqarah. And whilst we are moved and taken aback from the sheer miraculous nature of the Quran, we must also remember that Waleed Ibn Mugheerah (an enemy of the Muslims during the time of the Prophet) was also mesmerised by the Quran. Appreciation of a text can be claimed by anyone, even a non-Muslim. But real appreciation is thanking Allah that he has given us this message and that we can thereby act upon it.
Source : http://www.islam21c.com/spirituality/6203-the-coherence-of-al-baqarah