“Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”
King James Version (KJV)
26:34 Before cock crowing thou wilt deny me thrice - That is, before three in the morning, the usual time of cock crowing: although one cock was heard to crow once, after Peter's first denial of his Lord.
Mt 26:34,35 Thou shalt deny me thrice. The first cock crow was about twelve at night. The second about three o'clock. Before this the three-fold denial would occur. Peter and the disciples were sincere, but knew not their own weakness.