This is probably an epistemological question.

Literalists would say that it is what it is and it means what it appears to mean. At the time of the revelation, it meant something to those who heard it. Are we asking about that meaning, or are we asking about some other? And if it is about some other meaning, what might that be?

Those who would say that the Quran speaks to them, in their time, and in their contexts might say that this original meaning cannot be certainly known and in any event, would be irrelevant. They seek guidance for themselves in the text and look to the entire text to create this meaning.

There are strong arguments to support both approaches. I have not heard of anyone acting on this “wife beating” text, or advising others to act on it. In the world I know, this is a fast track to jail or divorce, or both.

And, as a contextual note only, the Torah advises parents to kill their disobedient children, and this is the foundation law of the Jews and a core text of the Christians. They both seem to have gotten over this.