And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With an oath.—The downward step once taken, the disciple’s fall was fatally rapid. Forgetful of his Lord’s command forbidding any use of oaths in common speech (Matthew 5:34), he did not shrink from invoking the divine name, directly or indirectly, to attest his falsehood.Matthew 9:1-8. Peter was embarrassed and confused by the question, and to save his confusion from attracting notice, he went away from the fire into the porch, where he expected to be unobserved - yet in vain. By the very movement to avoid detection, he came into contact with another who knew him and repeated the charge. How clearly does it prove that our Lord was omniscient, that all these things were foreseen!
Another maid saw him - Mark simply says that "a maid" saw him. From Luke it would appear that "a man" spoke to him, Luke 22:58. The truth probably is that both were done. When he first went out, "a maid" charged him with being a follower of Jesus. He was probably there a considerable time. To this charge he might have been silent, thinking, perhaps, that he was concealed, and there was no need of denying Jesus then. Yet it is very likely that the charge would be repeated. A "man," also, might have repeated it; and Peter, irritated, provoked, perhaps thinking that he was in danger, "then" denied his Master the second time. This denial was in a stronger manner and with an oath. While in the porch, Mark says, the cock crew - that is, the first crowing, or not far from midnight.
For the exposition, see on Mr 14:53-72.Mark 14:70, more shortly. So Luke, Luke 22:58. It is like Peter, upon the first alarm, began to shift away, and was got into the porch, but there another meets him with the same charge. Here, to the former lie which he had told, and here repeateth, he adds an oath for the confirmation of what he had said. What are the best of men, when God leaves them to their own strength! But the temptation yet riseth higher.
I do not know the man: meaning not only that he had no personal knowledge of him, or acquaintance with him; but that he had never seen the man in his life, nor did he know what manner of man he was. This, as it was a downright falsehood, it was what he had no need to have said; for there were multitudes that knew Christ in this sense, who never joined with him, or became his disciples. This was so much overdoing it, that it was much it had not given them a suspicion of him. Those that would excuse Peter's sin, by supposing that he meant, that he knew Christ to be God, and did not know him as a mere man, have no foundation for such a supposition; and indeed, such an ambiguous expression, and mental reservation, is no other than dealing fallaciously. Peter knew Christ in every sense; he knew him spiritually, whom to know is life eternal: and he valued the knowledge of him above all things else: he knew him to be God, and the Son of God; he knew him as mediator, and the Saviour of lost sinners; he knew him as man, and had had personal intimacy and conversation with him of a long time, and yet now denies he knew him; and that with an oath, adding perjury to lying; and so it is, that one sin leads on to another. This instance of Peter's shows the wickedness and deceitfulness of man's heart; and what the best of men are, or would be, when left to themselves, and of God: they become like other men, even like the men of the world, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 26:72. Observe the climax in the terms of the threefold denial.
μεθʼ ὅρκου] is peculiar to Matthew, and is here used in the sense of an oath.
τὸν ἄμθρωπον] the man (in question). Alas, such is the language, cold and distant, which Peter uses with reference to his Master! What a contrast to Matthew 16:16! “Ecce, columna firmissima ad unius aurae impulsum tota contremuit,” Augustine.Matthew 26:72. μεθʼ ὅρκου: second denial, more emphatic, with an oath, and more direct: I know not the man (τὸν ἄν.).Matthew 26:72. Μεθʼ ὅρκου, with an oath) Oaths do not seem to have been inconsistent with Peter’s former habits.—τὸν ἄνθρωπον, the man) as if Peter did not even know the name of Jesus.Verse 72. - With an oath. Assailed on all sides, and fearing that his simple word would not be taken, Peter now to one and all makes a curt denial, accompanying it with an oath. He was thoroughly determined not to compromise himself, and to silence all suspicion. This was the second stage of his fall. I do not know the man. I have no knowledge of this Jesus of whom you are speaking. He calls his beloved Master "the man"!
As if he did not know Jesus' name.
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