The second denial (Mt 26:71-26:72)

“When he went out

To the porch,

Another servant girl

Saw him.

She said

To the bystanders.

‘This man was

With Jesus of Nazareth.’

Again,

He denied it

With an oath.

‘I do not know

The man.’”

 

ἐξελθόντα δὲ εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα εἶδεν αὐτὸν ἄλλη καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἐκεῖ Οὗτος ἦν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου.

καὶ πάλιν ἠρνήσατο μετὰ ὅρκου ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 14:69-70, Luke, chapter 22:58, and John, chapter 18:25, with some minor changes, as all 4 gospels have this 2nd denial of Peter.  In Mark, it is the same servant-girl rather than a different one.  In John, it was a group of people rather than one individual who addressed Peter.  Matthew said that Peter went out to the porch area of the courtyard (ἐξελθόντα δὲ εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα).  Another young servant girl or maid saw him (εἶδεν αὐτὸν ἄλλη).  She then said to the bystanders there (καὶ λέγει τοῖς ἐκεῖ) that this man was with Jesus of Nazareth (Οὗτος ἦν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζωραίου).  Again, Peter denied it with an oath (καὶ πάλιν ἠρνήσατο μετὰ ὅρκου).  He said that he did not know this man (ὅτι Οὐκ οἶδα τὸν ἄνθρωπον).  Peter, the great defender of Jesus, again denied him in public with a solemn oath for a 2nd time, something he said that he would never do.  Jesus had warned them about swearing oaths in chapter 5:33-37.

Swearing oaths (Sir 23:9-23:11)

“Do not accustom your mouth

To oaths!

Do not habitually utter

The name of the Holy One!

As a servant,

Who is constantly under scrutiny,

Will not lack bruises,

So also the person

Who always swears,

Who utters the Name of God,

Will never be cleansed from sin.

Whoever swears many oaths

Is full of iniquity.

The scourge will not leave his house.

If he swears in error,

His sin remains on him.

If he disregards it,

He sins doubly.

If he swears a false oath,

He will not be justified.

His house will be filled

With calamities.”

Sirach does not want us to get accustomed to swearing oaths to the Most Holy One. If you swear too much, you are a like a servant under constant scrutiny who gets bruised by his master. So too, anyone who swears by the Name of God will never be cleansed from their sins. If you are always swearing to God for this or that, you will be full on iniquity, since the scourge will never leave your house. You can actually sin by swearing in error. Then you can double you sin by not fulfilling the false oath that you swore. You will never be justified since your house will be filled with calamities.