Matthew 26:73
And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
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(73) Thy speech bewrayeth thee.—The Galilean patois was probably stronger when he spoke under the influence of strong excitement. It was said to have, as its chief feature, a confused thick utterance of the guttural letters of the Hebrew alphabet, so that they could not be distinguished from each other, and the change of Sh into Th. The half-detection which the remark implied, perhaps, also, some sense of shame at the provincialism attracting notice, led to the more vehement denial that followed.

Matthew 26:73-74. And after a while came they that stood by, &c. — When the servants at the fire heard Peter deny the charge, which John has mentioned, they drew near and supported it by an argument drawn from the accent with which he had pronounced his answer: Surely thou art one of them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Η λαλια σου δηλον σε τοιει, thy manner of speech (meaning the Galilean dialect or pronunciation) maketh thee manifest — Or, as Mark expresses it, Thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. Peter, being thus pressed from different quarters, and having now quite lost the reins, the government of himself; in order to give his lie the better colour, he profaned the name of God by swearing, and wished the bitterest curses on himself if he was telling a falsehood. Perhaps he hoped by these acts of impiety to convince them effectually that he was not the disciple of the holy Jesus. And immediately the cock crew — All the evangelists say, that the cock crew immediately after Peter pronounced the words of the third denial, which they themselves have related. But upon comparing the things said when this third attack was made, it appears that the speeches, at least which John has recorded, did not come from the persons mentioned by the other evangelists. Wherefore the third denial was occasioned by different attacks made in succession; unless the men spoke all at once, which is not very probable. It is more natural to think, that when Peter denied his Master to them who first attacked him, the others, who stood by, supported the charge, with an argument drawn from his dialect or pronunciation, which proved him to be a Galilean. However, as in either case the succession of his answers must have been very quick, the veracity of the evangelists remains unshaken, because thus the cock crew immediately after Peter pronounced the words which they have severally related. Thus through the mere fear of man, a principle from which have sprung many denials of Christ and his truth in different ages, Peter denied his Master three sundry times with many aggravating circumstances, forgetting the vehement protestations he had made a few hours before. He was permitted to fall in this manner to teach mankind several important lessons: as, 1st, That no dependance can be placed on any mere human strength, or on any resolutions man can form, without supernatural aid. 2d, That whatever a person’s attainments may have been formerly, if once he give way to temptation, so as to commit known and actual sin, he frequently, perhaps it may be said commonly, proceeds from bad to worse, one sin naturally drawing on another; for which reason the very least appearance of evil ought always to be dreaded, and the greatest humility and self-diffidence maintained. 3d, The goodness wherewith Jesus treated his fallen apostle, teaches us that no sinner whatever needs to despair of mercy who truly repents.

26:69-75 Peter's sin is truly related, for the Scriptures deal faithfully. Bad company leads to sin: those who needlessly thrust themselves into it, may expect to be tempted and insnared, as Peter. They scarcely can come out of such company without guilt or grief, or both. It is a great fault to be shy of Christ; and to dissemble our knowledge of him, when we are called to own him, is, in effect, to deny him. Peter's sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas, with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten. Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others. The event has taught believers many things ever since, and if infidels, Pharisees, and hypocrites stumble at it or abuse it, it is at their peril. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall; let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord. Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ, never denied him again, but confessed him often in the face of danger. True repentance for any sin will be shown by the contrary grace and duty; that is a sign of our sorrowing not only bitterly, but sincerely.And after a while - That is, about an hour after (Luke). Peter by this time had returned into the palace or hall, and stood warming himself by the fire, John 18:25.

Thy speech bewrayeth thee - Your language makes it manifest that you are of his company. That is, as Mark adds, he was a "Galilean," and in this way his speech betrayed him. It is probable that the Galileans were distinguished for some peculiarity of pronunciation, perhaps some unique rusticity or coarseness in their manner of speaking, that distinguished them from the refinement of the capital, Jerusalem. This charge, John says John 18:26, was supported by the express affirmation of a kinsman of Malchus, the servant of the high priest, that he had seen him in the garden.

Mt 26:57-75. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim Condemned to Die, and Shamefully Entreated—The Denial of Peter. ( = Mr 14:53-72; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

For the exposition, see on [1366]Mr 14:53-72.

See Poole on "Matthew 26:74".

And after a while,.... Mark says, "a little after",

Mark 14:70, and Luke observes, that it was "about the space of one hour after", Luke 22:59, so that here was time to reflect upon what he had been saying, and to guard against another temptation, should he be attacked; but, alas! as yet he was unmindful of his Lord's words, and persists in the denial of him, and that with greater aggravation, than at his first surprise: and indeed his temptation was now more violent: for there

came unto him they that stood by; the officers and servants of the high priest, his attendants that waited upon him, and who stood by the fire, where Peter was warming himself: before he was attacked by single maidservants, now by a body of men, and one of them the kinsman of the man whose ear he had cut off, and who challenged him, as having seen him in the garden: and another confidently affirmed, and swore to it, that he was with Jesus, and was a Galilean; and all of them agreed in this,

and said to Peter, surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech betrayeth thee: not his spiritual speech, for he had not been speaking in the language of a disciple of Christ, like one that had been with Jesus; nor his swearing neither, for this rather showed him to be one of them; but his country language, the brogue of his speech, the Galilean dialect which he spoke: for in Mark it is said, "thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereunto", Mark 14:70, for though the same language was spoken in Galilee as at Jerusalem, yet it was not so accurate and polite in Galilee, nor so well pronounced; words of different signification were confounded together. Hence the Talmudists say (b), that "the men of Judah, who were careful of their language, their law was confirmed in their hands; the men of Galilee, who were not careful of their language, their law was not confirmed in their hands--the men of Galilee, who do not attend to language, what is reported of them? a Galilean went and said to them, , they said to him foolish Galilean, "Chamor" is to ride upon, or "Chamar" is to drink, or "Hamar" is for clothing, or "Immar" is for hiding for slaughter.

By which instances it appears, that a Galilean pronounced "Chamor", an ass, and "Chamar", wine, and "Hamar", wool, and "Immar", a lamb, all one, and the same way, without any distinction; so that it was difficult to know which of these he meant. Many other instances of the like kind are given in the same place, which show the Galilean to be a more gross, barbarous, and impolite language, than what was spoken at Jerusalem; and Peter using this dialect, was known to be a Galilean: just as the Ephraimites were known by their pronouncing Shibboleth, Sibboleth,

(b) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 53. 1, 2. Vid. Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. in rad,

And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Matthew 26:73. The answer of Peter given at Matthew 26:72, and in the course of which his Galilaean dialect was recognised, gave occasion to those standing by (that they were exactly Sanhedrim officers, apparitores, Kuinoel, Paulus, does not necessarily follow from the use of ἑστῶτες) to step up to Peter after a little while, and to corroborate (ἀληθῶς) the assertion of the maid-servant.

ἐξ αὐτῶν] of those who were along with Jesus, Matthew 26:71.

καὶ γάρ] for even, apart from circumstances by which thou hast been already identified.

ἡ λαλιά σου] thy speech (see on John 8:43), namely, through the coarse provincial accent. The natives of Galilee were unable to distinguish especially the gutturals properly, pronounced the letter שׁ like a ת, etc. See Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 435, 2417; Lightfoot, Centur. Chorogr. p. 151 ff.; Wetstein on our passage; Keim, I. p. 310.

Matthew 26:73. οἱ ἑστῶτες, loungers; seeing Peter’s confusion, and amusing themselves by tormenting him.—ἀληθῶς, beyond doubt, you, too, are one of them; of the notorious gang.—ἡ λαλιά: They had heard him speak in his second denial, which so leads up to a third. Galilean speech was defective in pronouncing the gutturals, and making שׁ = ת.

73. thy speech bewrayeth thee] Peter was discovered by his use of the Galilæan dialect. The Galilæans were unable to pronounce the gutturals distinctly, and they lisped, pronouncing sh like th. Perhaps Peter said, “I know not the ith,” instead of, “I know not the ish” (man).

To bewray, from the Anglo-Saxon wreian, to accuse, then, to point out, make evident,—the literal meaning of the Greek words.

“Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger.”

Shaks. 3 Henry VI. 1. 1. (Bible Word-Book.)

Matthew 26:73. Εἶ, thou art) The present tense. The temptation increases. Previously they had said ἦσθα, thou wast, Matthew 26:69, in the imperfect.—λαλία, speech) i.e., manner of speaking, dialect. If Peter had remained silent, he would have been in less danger of discovery: by denying, which involved speaking, he increased the danger. Those men had, however, stronger proofs by which to convict Peter (see Matthew 26:47; Matthew 26:51); but the world generally employs the weakest arguments of all against the godly, especially in cases of misdirected zeal. Even as far back as the days of the Judges, tribes had peculiar dialects.[1165]

[1165] See Jdg 12:6, where the Ephraimites are discerned by the test of Shibboleth.—(I. B.)

Verse 73. - After a while; μετὰ μικρὸν: after a little interval. About an hour, according to St. Luke. Meantime had occurred the examination and informal condemnation of Christ, followed by the brutalities of the attendants, and the Lord's temporary consignment to some chamber or gallery that overlooked the courtyard. The excitement of the trial and its accompaniments having somewhat subsided, attention was again turned upon Peter, who, in his nervous trepidation, could not remain quiet and silent, but aroused observation by his indiscreet movements and garrulity. They that stood by. Among whom, as St. John notes, was a kinsman of Malthus, who indistinctly remembered hating seen Peter at Gethsemane. Probably by this time some rumour of the presence of a disciple of Jesus had spread among the crowd, and there arose an eager desire to discover him. If Peter had not talked, he might have escaped further notice. Thy speech bewrayeth thee; makes thee known. His dialect (for doubtless he spoke Aramaic) showed that he was a Galilaean, and as most of Christ's adherents came from that region, they inferred that he was one of Christ's disciples. The language and pronunciation of the northern district differed materially from the polished dialect of Judaea and Jerusalem, and its provincialisms were readily detected. The Galilaeans, we are told, could not properly pronounce the guttural letters, aleph, kheth, and ayin, and used tau for shin, pe for beth, etc.; they also often omitted syllables in words, occasioning equivocal mistakes, which afforded much amusement to the better instructed. Matthew 26:73
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