“Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.”
King James Version (KJV)
26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear - Having now quite lost the reins, the government of himself.
Mt 26:74 Began he to curse and to swear. Peter's "third" denial. He not only, with an oath, repeats what he had said in the second, but he affirms it with imprecations of divine wrath on himself if he spoke not the truth. The gradations of guilt in the denials of Peter: (1) ambiguous evasion; (2) distinct denial with a false oath; (3) awful abjuration with solemn imprecations on himself. Immediately the cock crew. This was at the opening of the fourth or morning watch, at about three o'clock. The cock often crows about midnight, or not long after; and again always about the third hour after midnight, or three o'clock. This shows that the second trial of Jesus took place before the dawn.