QXPiv explains it better.
2:258 Think of the one who adamantly argued with Abraham about his Lord because God had given him power. Abraham said to him, “My Lord is He Who gives life and causes death." He answered, “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said, “God makes the sun rise from the East; make it rise from the West.” Thereupon the rejecter of the truth remained dumbfounded. And God does not guide people who choose to do wrong.
[Nimrod Shaddad, King of Babylon, Abraham’s contemporary and staunch enemy, used to proclaim divinity. Being a tyrant he could impose or cancel death penalty. That is what he means by giving life and causing death]
Dead nations can revive themselves by adopting Divine principles.
2:259 (Later on, came another king in the dynasty of Nimrods, his name, Nebuchadnezzar, 630-562 BC. He invaded Jerusalem, oppressed Israelites and enslaved them. One hundred years of tribulation passed before King Cyrus of Persia liberated them and reinstated them back in Jerusalem. This history bears a lesson for posterity.)
The similitude of this history is that someone passes by the ruins of a town and wonders if that town could ever come back to life again, and God causes him to die for a hundred years and then revives him. He thinks it was only a matter of a day or a part of it. He even finds his food, drink, and donkey standing beside him. God creates you in the wombs of your mothers, in bone and flesh. And when the matter became clear to him, he said, “I know now that God is Able to do all things. God is the all Powerful Designer of His laws and He does all things in the Universe in duly appointed measure.” [13:18, 25:2, 65:3, 54:49]