Luke 22:34

ESV Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me."
NIV Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
NASB But He said, 'I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.'
CSB "I tell you, Peter," he said, "the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know me."
NLT But Jesus said, 'Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.'
KJV And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
NKJV Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

What does Luke 22:34 mean?

This completes Jesus' warning that the disciples will soon abandon Him. The catalyst is that Satan has asked to "sift [them] like wheat" (Luke 22:31). Satan means to attack God's plan: perhaps even to hinder the creation of the church. God uses the disciples' failure to reveal their weaknesses. When the Holy Spirit comes, they will be ready to submit to His leadership and empowerment (Acts 2:1–3).

Jesus has specifically prayed that when the disciples are lost and confused, Peter will be reconciled to God and encourage their faith (Luke 22:32). Jesus' prayer comes true; the book of Acts shows Peter boldly risking his life for the gospel.

For now, Peter relies on his own strength, refusing to accept that he would ever deny Jesus. He claims he would go to prison or even die for Jesus (Luke 22:33). Here in the dark, making their way to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30), surrounded by his friends and beside the man who can calm a raging sea (Mark 4:35–41), Peter has reason to be bold. Even after the soldiers come, it is Peter who draws his sword to protect Jesus (John 18:10).

Jesus knows this bravado will not last. In the courtyard of the chief priest, surrounded by the guards and servants who arrested Jesus, Peter's courage will fail (Luke 22:54–62). But just as Jesus' prophecy comes true, so does His prayer. Peter will recover and reconcile with Jesus (Luke 24:34; John 21:15–17). Then he will lead the disciples to preach the gospel, even defending their message against the very men who will have Jesus killed (Acts 4).

Sharp-eyed readers note that Matthew and Mark place Jesus' warning to Peter after they have left the upper room (Matthew 26:30–35; Mark 14:26–31). Luke's promise to give Theophilus an "orderly account" of Jesus' life doesn't necessitate a chronological account (Luke 1:3). Some scholars think Luke wanted to group all of Jesus' teaching together. Another option is that by placing this passage here, it aligns with Jesus' warning about His betrayer in the mirrored arrangement of Luke 22 (Luke 22:21–23).

The identity and number of the cock crow is a tangled issue for some Bible scholars. Mark says, "before the rooster crows twice" (Mark 14:30) and records the cock crowing only twice (Mark 14:68, 72). Some think Jesus means "the crow of the cocks" which refers to the Roman guard watch from midnight to 3 a.m.
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