Salaam, how should one read the above? As evidence of metamorphosis,as an expression current at the time or as a shift of meaning due to translation?
In footnote 106 for Surah al-Baqarah 2:65 in the Qur’an translation on this site we state:
Although most of the commentators of the Qur’an have taken this to be a statement implying a moral curse of God upon the referred people – i.e. they become devoid of all human morality and, thereby, of the basic human trait – yet it is obvious from the following verse that this curse had its apparent effects as well, on the basis of which, the town become a source of great admonition for the God-fearing people.
Al A’raf 7:163-166 contains the same concept as the above verse. There is no doubt that the very essence of humanity has been stripped from the individuals in question; however, it seems that in addition to the qualities of character there was a fundamental and recognizable blemish that disfigured the sinners. This was the supernatural manifestation of God’s punishment upon the rejecters and a divine warning for the rest of that society. The very ugliness that resided within them became apparent in physical form for all to witness and comprehend.
God knows best.
I hope this helps.