|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:66-72 Peter's denying Christ began by keeping at a distance from him. Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way to deny Christ. Those who think it dangerous to be in company with Christ's disciples, because thence they may be drawn in to suffer for him, will find it much more dangerous to be in company with his enemies, because there they may be drawn in to sin against him. When Christ was admired and flocked after, Peter readily owned him; but will own no relation to him now he is deserted and despised. Yet observe, Peter's repentance was very speedy. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall; and let him that has fallen think of these things, and of his own offences, and return to the Lord with weeping and supplication, seeking forgiveness, and to be raised up by the Holy Spirit.
Verse 72. - And when he thought thereon, he wept (καὶ ἐπὶβαλὼν ἔκλαιε, not ἔκλαυςε,). The word implies a long and continued weeping. This concludes the preliminary trial, the whole proceedings of which were illegal.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the second time the cock crew,.... Immediately, as soon as he had so said and swore, as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read, and as it is read in one of Beza's copies; which was about three of the clock in the morning, and is what is properly called the cock crowing:
and Peter called to mind; upon hearing the cock crow a second time,
the word that Jesus said unto him, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice: as he now had done twice, to the maid or maids, and a third time to the servants that stood by the fire along with him:
and when he thought thereon; on the words of Christ, and on his sin in denying him, and on the aggravated circumstances of it. The Arabic version renders it, "he turned himself to weep"; he turned away from the company, he threw himself out of it, and got out of doors as fast as he could, and broke out into a violent fit of weeping. The Syriac, Persic, and Vulgate Latin versions, render it, "he began to weep"; this phrase is omitted in the Ethiopic version: some choose to render it, "he looked upon him", that is, on Christ: as Christ looked upon him; which produced true evangelical repentance in him, so Peter looked upon his dear Lord with concern, whom he so had shamefully denied; he looked upon him and mourned, he looked upon him with an eye of faith, and sorrowed for his sin after a godly sort: but the true sense of the word is, "he covered himself"; he cast his garment over his head, he veiled himself as mourners did, who covered their heads, and their faces, and even their lips. So Maimonides (o);
"from whence, says he, is uncovering the head, forbidden a mourner? For, lo! it is said to Ezekiel 24:17, "cover not thy lips" at all, for the rest of mourners are obliged to the covering of the head; the linen cloth, or veil, with which he covers his head, he covers with a part of it, a little over his mouth; as it is said, Leviticus 13:45, "He shall put a covering upon his upper lip": and Onkelos paraphrases it, , "as a mourner he shall cover himself".''
And so it is said of Haman (p),
"that he went to his house, and mourned for his daughter, , "and put a covering on his head as a mourner": for his daughter, and for his reproach.''
And this, it seems, was the custom of the Ishmaelites: hence that saying (q),
"all veiling (in mourning) which is not as the veiling of the Ishmaelites (who cover all the face), is no veiling?''
And thus Peter, through shame, and as a token of sorrow and mourning for his sin, threw his garment over him:
and he wept; as Matthew says, "bitterly": being fully convinced of his sin, and heartily sorry lot it; See Gill on Matthew 26:75.
(o) Hilch. Ebel, c. 5. sect. 19. (p) Targum in Esther vi. 12. Vid. Targum in Micah 3.7. (q) T. Bab. Moed. Katon, fol. 24. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
72. And the second time the cock crew—The other three Evangelists, who mention but one crowing of the cock—and that not the first, but the second and last one of Mark—all say the cock crew "immediately," but Luke (Lu 22:60) says, "Immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew." Alas!—But now comes the wonderful sequel.
The Redeemer's Look upon Peter, and Peter's Bitter Tears (Mr 14:72; Lu 22:61, 62).
It has been observed that while the beloved disciple is the only one of the four Evangelists who does not record the repentance of Peter, he is the only one of the four who records the affecting and most beautiful scene of his complete restoration (Joh 21:15-17).
And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter—How? it will be asked. We answer, From the chamber in which the trial was going on, in the direction of the court where Peter then stood—in the way already explained. See on Mr 14:66. Our Second Evangelist makes no mention of this look, but dwells on the warning of his Lord about the double crowing of the cock, which would announce his triple fall, as what rushed stingingly to his recollection and made him dissolve in tears.
And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept—To the same effect is the statement of the First Evangelist (Mt 26:75), save that like "the beloved physician," he notices the "bitterness" of the weeping (Lu 22:62). The most precious link, however, in the whole chain of circumstances in this scene is beyond doubt that "look" of deepest, tenderest import reported by Luke alone (Lu 22:61). Who can tell what lightning flashes of wounded love and piercing reproach shot from that "look" through the eye of Peter into his heart!
And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.
And Peter went out and wept bitterly—How different from the sequel of Judas' act! Doubtless the hearts of the two men towards the Saviour were perfectly different from the first; and the treason of Judas was but the consummation of the wretched man's resistance of the blaze of light in the midst of which he had lived for three years, while Peter's denial was but a momentary obscuration of the heavenly light and love to his Master which ruled his life. But the immediate cause of the blessed revulsion which made Peter "weep bitterly" (Mt 26:75) was, beyond all doubt, this heart-piercing "look" which his Lord gave him. And remembering the Saviour's own words at the table, "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Lu 22:31, 32), may we not say that this prayer fetched down all that there was in that look to pierce and break the heart of Peter, to keep it from despair, to work in it "repentance unto salvation not to be repented of," and at length, under other healing touches, to "restore his soul?" (See on Mr 16:7).
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