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Discovery Magazine 11/1/2002

The Clock of a Cock

Many people in the 21st century wake up in the mornings with the sound of a buzzer going off. Others, who dislike the beeping of an alarm, are awakened by songs playing over the radio, or to the voices of their favorite morning radio talk-show hosts.

When Jesus lived on the Earth, people did not have automatic clocks like we have today to awaken them in the mornings. Instead, they often counted on the internal clocks of chickens. Adult male chickens (called "cocks") served as the alarm clock in ancient times. Cocks (also known as roosters) crowed with such precision it was like clockwork. So regularly do roosters keep time, that we find cock-crowing mentioned in the Bible as a normal division of time in first-century Palestine. Jesus once spoke of this time when He stated: ''Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming-in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning'' (Mark 13:35).The division of the night known as "the crowing of the rooster" was just before daybreak when cocks began to crow their loudest, and when people were needing to get up to go to work.

Although most people today do not depend upon roosters to get them up in the morning in time for school or work, we still are amazed by the intelligently designed "clock of the cock."

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