Matthew 26:74
Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(74) To curse and to swear.—We may infer from the two words that he used some common formula of execration, such as, e.g., “God do so to me and more also” (1Kings 19:2; 1Kings 20:10), as well as the oath-formula, “By Heaven,” or “By the Temple.”

Immediately the cock crew.—St. Mark alone records the first cock-crow. The Greek has no article; “a cock crew.” We find from Mark 13:35 that “cock-crowing” had become a familiar phrase, as with us, for the earliest hour of dawn.

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.Then began he to curse ... - Peter was now irritated beyond endurance. He could no longer resist the evidence that he was known. It had been repeatedly charged on him. His language had betrayed him, and there was a positive witness who had seen him. He felt it necessary, therefore, to be still more decided, and he accordingly added to the sin of denying his Lord the deep aggravation of profane cursing and swearing, affirming what he must have known was false, that he knew not the man. Immediately then the cock crew - that is, the second crowing, or not far from three in the morning. 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.

Ver. 73,74. Mark saith, Mark 14:70,71, And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. Luke hath it, Luke 22:59,60, And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. One spake in the name of the rest that were gathered about Peter, and he charges Peter confidently; and he might well, for John saith, John 18:26, that this was one of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off. He said, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Temptations always grow upon us in the company of wicked men. Here Peter adds to his lying, swearing and cursing; all confirming of what he had said in the denial of his Master; all in an exact fulfilling of what Christ had told Peter, Matthew 26:34, though he was then difficult to believe it; to teach us all not to presume too far upon our own strength, but to pray that we be not led into temptation; while we stand, to take heed lest we fall; and in order to it, to avoid the society of wicked men, and places in which we probably may be tempted. To teach us also charity to lapsed brethren, and not too hastily to condemn our brethren for falling a second and a third time into the same sin; especially, while the same fit of temptation holdeth. It is added, And immediately the cock crew, that is, the second time; so saith Mark, Mark 14:72, who had mentioned the cock’s first crowing, Mark 14:68, upon Peter’s first denial of his Master.

Then began he to curse, and to swear,.... He swore before, and now he began "to curse"; not Christ, as Saul compelled some to blaspheme him, who professed him, and as the Jews formerly cursed Christ, and his followers, in their synagogues: for Peter's crime was bad enough, it need not be made worse than it was: he could never call Jesus accursed; in so doing he would have sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost; but he cursed himself; "he began to imprecate himself", as the Arabic version renders it; he made dreadful imprecations and wishes; wished that all the miseries and calamities he could think of might fall upon him, if he was one of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, or knew anything of him: saying,

I know not the man; if I do, God do so to me, or more also: let vengeance light upon me; may I be the most miserable creature in the world, if I know anything of him,

and immediately the cock crew: as he was swearing and cursing in this manner; as soon as ever the words were out of his mouth, and he had in this sad and solemn manner three times denied that he knew Christ, or was ever with him, or a disciple of his. It is forbid, by a Jewish canon, to keep cocks at Jerusalem; it runs thus (c):

"they do not bring up cocks in Jerusalem, because of the holy things, neither do the priests in all the land of Israel, because of the purifications.

Whether this canon was then in being, or how it was dispensed with, or whether there was any particular providence in the cock being here now, and so nigh the high priest's palace, is not certain; but one there was: nor can the Jews deny that there were cocks at Jerusalem; for they themselves speak of a cock, (d), "that was stoned at Jerusalem",

(c) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 7. sect. 7. T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 82. 2. Abot R. Nathan, c. 35. Maimon. Hilch. Beth Habechirah, c. 7. sect. 14. Shalshelet Hakabala, fol. 9. 2.((d) T. Hieros Erubin, fol. 26. 1. Caphtor, fol. 42. 1.

Then began he to {i} curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

(i) He swore and cursed himself.

Matthew 26:74. Τότε ἤρξατο] for previously he had not resorted as yet to the καταθεματίζειν, but had contented himself with the simple ὀμνύειν (Matthew 26:72, μεθʼ ὅρκου). Whereas before he had only sworn, he now takes to cursing as well. “Nunc gubernaculum animae plane amisit,” Bengel. The imprecations were intended to fall upon himself (should he be found, that is, to be telling an untruth). For the word καταθεματίζω, which was in all probability a vulgar corruption, comp. Revelation 22:3; Iren. Haer. i. 13. 2, 16. 3; Oecolampadius, ad Act. xxiii. 12.

ὅτι] recitantis, as in Matthew 26:72.

ἀλέκτωρ] a cock. There are Rabbinical statements (see the passages in Wetstein) to the effect that it was not allowable to keep animals of this sort in Jerusalem; but as there are other Rabbinical passages again which assert the opposite of this (see Lightfoot, p. 483), it is unnecessary to have recourse (Reland, Wolf) to the supposition that the bird in question may have belonged to a Gentile, may even have been about Pilate’s house, or some house outside the city.

Matthew 26:74. καταθεματίζειν (here only, καταναθ. in T. R., probably belonging to vulgar speech, Meyer), to call down curses on himself, sign of irritation and desperation; has lost self-control completely.—καὶ εὐθὺς: just after this passionate outburst a cock crew.—“Magna circumstantia,” Beng.

Matthew 26:74. Ἤρξατο, κ.τ.λ., he began, etc.) Hitherto He had not gone so far: now he altogether lost command of himself.—καταθεματίζειν,[1166] to curse) others read καταναθεματίζειν:[1167] that double compound, however, is nowhere to be met with: whereas Irenaeus (Book I., ch. 13, § 2) has καταθεματίσαντες [the participle first aorist active of καταθεματίζω]. Justin Martyr also says, “κατάθεμα τὸ συνθέσθαι τοῖς ἀναθεματίζουσι,” “it is a cursed thing to be joined with them that curse.” And again he joins together ἀναθεματισμὸς [an universally recognised word] and καταθεματισμὸς [a derivative of καταθεματίζω]. Œcumenius, on Acts 23:12, says, “κατʼ ἐπίτασιν εἴρηται τὸ ἀνάθεμα ὡς καὶ τὸ κατάθεμα· συγκατατίθεται γὰρ τῷ ὄντι τῷ ἐναντίῳ καὶ συγκαταδικάζεται,” i.e., “The word ἀνάθεμα is used with an intensive force, as also the word κατάθεμα [from which καταθεματίζω is derived]: for it is placed together with that which is opposed, and is condemned together with it.” The word κατάθεμα is always taken in an evil sense as in Revelation 22:3; whereas ἀνάθεμα is also used in a good sense.—τὸν ἄνθρωπον, the man) compare however ch. Matthew 16:16.—εὐθέως, immediately) An important circumstance (magna circumstantia).—ἐφώνησε, crowed) Sins committed in the early morning are heinous.

[1166] In his App. Crit., Bengel says in loc., καταθεματίζειν. Comp. Al. Aug. 1, 2, 4; Byz. Cant. Gehl. Mosc. Steph. omn. Wo. 1, 2: et quindecim et riginti quinque alii, Orig. ut videtur (καταναθεματίζειν) Er. et Al. vid. Gnom.—(I. B.)

[1167] Such is the reading of E. M.—(I. B.)

Καταθεματίζειν is supported by the oldest uncial MSS. ABCD Vulg. has ‘detestari;’ abc, “devotare se;” which latter probably is the rendering of καταναθεματίζειν of the Rec. Text, as this word expresses more strongly than καταθεματίζειν, extremis diris aliquem devovere; “to make himself anathema.”—ED.

Verse 74. - To curse and to swear. Peter fortifies this, his third denial, by imprecating curses on himself (καταθεματίζειν) if he spake not the truth, and again (ver. 72) confirming his assertion by a solemn oath. There is a certain gradation in his denials: he first simply asserts; he then asserts with an oath; lastly, he adds curses to his oath. "One temptation unresisted seldom fails to be followed by another; a second and greater infidelity is the punishment of the first, and often the cause of a third. Peter joins perjury to infidelity. Deplorable progress of infidelity and blindness in an apostle in so short a time, only out of fear of some under servants, and in respect of a Master whom he had acknowledged very God. He might possibly have proceeded even as far as Judas, had God left him any longer to himself" (Quesnel). Immediately the cock crew. This was the second crowing (Mark 14:72); the first had been heard at the first denial (Mark 14:68). Matthew 26:74To curse (καταθεματίζειν)

A new development of profanity. Hitherto he had merely sworn. Now he adds imprecation; invoking curses on himself if the case be not as he says.

Matthew 26:74 Interlinear
Matthew 26:74 Parallel Texts

Matthew 26:74 NIV
Matthew 26:74 NLT
Matthew 26:74 ESV
Matthew 26:74 NASB
Matthew 26:74 KJV

Matthew 26:74 Bible Apps
Matthew 26:74 Parallel
Matthew 26:74 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 26:74 Chinese Bible
Matthew 26:74 French Bible
Matthew 26:74 German Bible

Bible Hub

Matthew 26:73
Top of Page
Top of Page