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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

 

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COCK

kok (alektor; Latin gallus): There is no reference in the Old Testament to domesticated poultry, which was probably first introduced into Judea after the Roman conquest. See CHICKEN. The cock is several times mentioned in the New Testament and always with reference to its habit of crowing in eastern countries with such regularity as to be almost clocklike. The first full salute comes almost to the minute at half-past eleven, the second at half-past one, and the third at dawn. So uniformly do the cocks keep time and proclaim these three periods of night that we find cock-crowing mentioned as a regular division of time: "Watch therefore: for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh, whether at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning" (Mk 13:35). Jesus had these same periods of night in mind when he warned Peter that he would betray Him. Mt 26:34; Lk 22:34; Jn 13:38, give almost identical wording of the warning. But in all his writing Mark was more explicit, more given to exact detail. Remembering the divisions of night as the cocks kept them, his record reads: "And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say into thee, that thou today, even this night, before the cock crow twice, shalt deny me thrice" (Mk 14:30). See CHICKEN. It is hardly necessary to add that the cocks crow at irregular intervals as well as at the times indicated, according to the time of the year and the phase of the moon (being more liable to crow during the night if the moon is at the full), or if a storm threatens, or there is any disturbance in their neighborhood.
Gene Stratton-Porter

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Definition for 'COCK'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". bible-history.com - ISBE; 1915.

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