Matthew 26:34 ...That this night, before the cock crows,

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

After the Last Supper and going up to Mt. Olive and after Peter says that he will never be tripped up by Jesus.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Honestly, I'm telling you, that in this, the night, before the rooster sounds three times, you are going reject me by yourself.

My Takeaway: 

None of us know how much we can change when frightened.

KJV : 

Matthew 26:34 Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

NIV : 

Matthew 26:34 “Truly I tell you this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is one of the few ones in Matthew that also appears in John, John 13:3, in a slightly different form. However, much of the same vocabulary is used in both versions.

This verse is prefaced by a catchphrase Jesus uses to lighten a hard-truth.

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν [88 verses](exclaim) "Verily" is amen, which is the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω [264 verses](1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

σοι [81 verses](adj pl masc nom) "You" is from soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

ὅτι [332 verses](adv/conj) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἐν [413 verses](prep) "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ταύτῃ [96 verses] (adj sg fem dat) "This" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

τῇ [821 verses](article sg fem dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

νυκτὶ [11 verses] (noun sg fem dat) "Night" is from nyx, which means "night", "midnight", and is a metaphor for darkness.

πρὶν [4 verses](adv/conj)"Before" is from prin, which means "before", "sooner", "formerly," and "hitherto."

ἀλέκτορα [4 verses](noun sg masc acc) "Cock" is from alektor which means "rooster", "cock", "husband," and "consort." It is also a metaphor for a trumpeter.

φωνῆσαι [10 verses](verb 3rd sg aor opt act) "Crows" is from phoneo which means "to speak loudly or clearly" (of men), "uttering cries" (of animals), "affirm" (in court), "call by name", "command," and "speak of."

τρὶς [3 verses] (adv) "Thrice" is from tris, which means "three times" and "thrice."

ἀπαρνήσῃ [9 verses](verb 2nd sg fut ind mp) "Thou shalt deny" is aparneomai, which means "to deny utterly", "to refuse", "to reject," and "to deny."

με. [49 verses]((pron 1st sg masc acc) "Me" is from eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". -- "Me" is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

KJV Analysis: 

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. This is unusual because this catchphrase is usually addressed to a group. It is used only seven times to address an individual.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

this -- The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage.

very  - The "very" here is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. Since it repeats the idea of "this," the "very" actually works.

night, -- "Night"  is the noun that means "night," "midnight," and is a metaphor for darkness. --

before   - "Before" is an uncommon Greek adverb that means "before", "sooner", "formerly," and "hitherto." Jesus only used it four times. Two of those times on this verse and its parallel in Mark 14:30.

you will me three times.”

the   -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

rooster - The word for "rooster " means a "rooster" and also a "husband."

crow, (CW) The word translated as "crows" simply means "to utter cries." It doesn't mean "crow" specifically like our word does. It is a general word, more like "sound."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

shalt  - -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

disown - (CW, WV) The word translated as "disown" means "deny" and "reject." It doesn't have a specific sense of disown. It is in a form that means the subject does this for himself. This is the "middle" voice, not the active voice.

me  - "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

thrice. - "Thrice" is an adverb that means "three times.
 

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heaven" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "crows" does not capture the more general meaning of the word.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "for/to/by yourself" as its object.

NIV Analysis: 

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you -- The word for "you" is the indirect object form of the singular, second-person pronoun. This is unusual because this catchphrase is usually addressed to a group. It is used only seven times to address an individual.

That  - - In the Greek source, this is a word here that means "that" or "because." So what follows is a dependent clause, indicating either what they were "saying" or why they were saying it.

this -- The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

night, -- "Night"  is the noun that means "night," "midnight," and is a metaphor for darkness. --

before   - "Before" is an uncommon Greek adverb that means "before", "sooner", "formerly," and "hitherto." Jesus only used it four times. Two of those times on this verse and its parallel in Mark 14:30.

the   -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, without a noun, it has the sense of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

cock  - The word for "cock" means a "rooster" and also a "husband."

crow, (CW) The word translated as "crows" simply means "to utter cries." It doesn't mean "crow" specifically like our word does. It is a general word, more like "sound."

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

shalt  - -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

deny  - (WV) The word translated as "thou shalt deny" means "deny" and "reject." It is in a form that means the subject does this for himself. This is the "middle" voice, not the active voice.

me  - "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

thrice. - "Thrice" is an adverb that means "three times.
 

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "crows" does not capture the more general meaning of the word.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "disown" does not capture the more general meaning of the word.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "for/to/by yourself" as its object.

Front Page Date: 

Dec 19 2021