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Matthew 26:69-75

Context
Peter’s Denials

26:69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A 1  slave girl 2  came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 26:70 But he denied it in front of them all: 3  “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 26:71 When 4  he went out to the gateway, another slave girl 5  saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” 26:72 He denied it again with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 26:73 After 6  a little while, those standing there came up to Peter and said, “You really are one of them too – even your accent 7  gives you away!” 26:74 At that he began to curse, and he swore with an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment a rooster crowed. 8  26:75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. 9 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

2 tn The Greek term here is παιδίσκη (paidiskh), referring to a slave girl or slave woman.

3 tn Grk “he denied it…saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.

4 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

5 tn The words “slave girl” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the feminine singular form ἄλλη (allh).

6 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

7 tn Grk “your speech.”

8 tn It seems most likely that this refers to a real rooster crowing, although a number of scholars have suggested that “cockcrow” is a technical term referring to the trumpet call which ended the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3 a.m.). This would then be a reference to the Roman gallicinium (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, alektorofwnia; the term is used in Mark 13:35 and is found in some mss [Ì37vid,45 Ë1] in Matt 26:34) which would have been sounded at 3 a.m.; in this case Jesus would have prophesied a precise time by which the denials would have taken place. For more details see J. H. Bernard, St. John (ICC), 2:604. However, in light of the fact that Mark mentions the rooster crowing twice (Mark 14:72) and in Luke 22:60 the words are reversed (ἐφώνησεν ἀλέκτωρ, efwnhsen alektwr), it is more probable that a real rooster is in view. In any event natural cockcrow would have occurred at approximately 3 a.m. in Palestine at this time of year (March-April) anyway.

9 sn When Peter went out and wept bitterly it shows he really did not want to fail here and was deeply grieved that he had.



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