Mark 14:26-31. And they went out into the mount of Olives At the conclusion of the supper; Jesus and his disciples sung a proper psalm, or song of praise, together, as was customary at the close of the passover, and then he set out for the mount of Olives, choosing to retire thither, that he might prevent a riot in Jerusalem, and bring no trouble upon the master of the house where he celebrated the passover. Jesus said, All ye shall be offended this night See the notes on Matthew 26:30-35. The Jews, in reckoning their days, began with the evening, according to the Mosaic computation, which denominated the evening and the morning the first day, Genesis 1:5. And so, that which after sunset is here called this night, is, Mark 14:30, called this day, or, to-day, as σημερον should rather be translated. The expression there is peculiarly significant: Verily I say unto thee, that thou Thyself, confident as thou art; to-day Even within four and twenty hours; yea, this night Before the sun be risen; nay, before the cock crow twice Before three in the morning; wilt deny me thrice. Our Lord, doubtless, spake so determinately as knowing a cock would crow once before the usual time of cock-crowing. By Mark 13:35, it appears, that the third watch of the night, ending at three in the morning, was commonly styled the cock-crowing. Dr. Owen, in his Observations on the Four Gospels, p. 56, observes, that as the Jews, in the enumeration of the times of the night, took notice only of one cock- crowing, which comprehended the third watch, so Matthew, to give them a clear information that Peter would deny his Master before three in the morning, needed only to say, that he would do it before the cock crew; but the Romans, (for whom, and the other Gentiles, Mark wrote his gospel,) reckoning by a double crowing of the cock, the first of which was about midnight, and the second at three, stood in need of a more particular designation; and therefore Mark, to denote the same hour to them, was obliged to say, before the cock crew twice. Juvenal uses exactly the same phrase to specify the same hour. Sat. 1. ver. 107.
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