In the story of Peter’s repentance, the rooster plays a very significant role. Why use the rooster? The rooster begins to crow to announce the rising sun, the beginning of a new day. The sound of a rooster’s crow is very loud if you are next to it. They say that the sound is about 142 decibels. To realize how loud this is, a chainsaw produces something like 120 decibels, less than a rooster. So, it is blaring.
However, the sound of the rooster in our story of Peter must have been very far away for we learn from the Talmud that roosters and fowls were not allowed to be reared in the city of Jerusalem on account of Levitical defilement (Baba K. 82b JE).
But we learn of another sound that followed the crow of the rooster, also a very loud one. It was the sound of the shofar. We learn this time from the Jerusalem Talmud that, and I quote, “When the rooster crowed, they sounded a sustained, a quavering, and a sustained note on the shofar”. y. Sukk. 5:5
The shofar then was sounded right after the rooster crowed and this was to announce the opening of the gates of the Temple. The early morning sacrificial preparations would now begin. Both these sounds were given that early morning as if the Temple had opened up, to usher the Messiah in to be the last sacrifice. For very soon after, at the sacrifice of the first lamb, Yeshua was crucified, that is at the 3rd hour.
So, the rooster’s crow sounded the announcement of a rising sun on the day the Messiah was to be crucified. And there is something else that the Talmud required of the people, when they heard the sound of the rooster. It was to pronounce a benediction. This is what it says; “Praised be Thou, O God, Lord of the world, that gives understanding to the rooster to distinguish between day and night” (Ber. 60b JE).
This prayer is taken from Job 38:36 which says: Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind? The word mind is the word sechvi שֶׂכְוִי from the word שׂכה (śkh) meaning to see, and so the rooster is chosen as the one “who foresees the day”. This must have been their first prayer of the day. That speaks volumes because the rooster saw further than Peter and so much further than the priests who were at that point in time, condemning the Messiah. Like Balaam’s donkey which stood as a witness against Balaam, so the rooster rose his voice as an onlooker of the false condemnation of Yeshua. So the shofar of the temple became a witness to the same event. As Peter did, may we hear the cock crow and the shofar blast, to awaken us that we repent and sin no more.