Luke 23:54
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
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(54) That day was the preparation.—See Note on Matthew 27:52.

The sabbath drew on.—Literally, the Sabbath was dawning. It is a question whether the word is used here of the actual beginning of the Sabbath—which was, of course, at sunset after the Crucifixion—or, as St. Matthew appears to use it (28:1), for the actual dawn. The later Rabbis appear to have spoken of the day “dawning” in the sense of its beginning at sunset, and so far support the former interpretation. It was possible, however, under the emergencies of the case, that the entombment began before the sunset, and may have been finished during the night, or that, in common speech and usage, the Sabbath, though theoretically beginning on Friday evening at sunset, was not practically recognised till Saturday at sunrise.

23:50-56 Many, though they do not make any show in outward profession, yet, like Joseph of Arimathea, will be far more ready to do real service, when there is occasion, than others who make a greater noise. Christ was buried in haste, because the sabbath drew on. Weeping must not hinder sowing. Though they were in tears for the death of their Lord, yet they must prepare to keep holy the sabbath. When the sabbath draws on, there must be preparation. Our worldly affairs must be so ordered, that they may not hinder us from our sabbath work; and our holy affections so stirred up, that they may carry us on in it. In whatever business we engage, or however our hearts may be affected, let us never fail to get ready for, and to keep holy, the day of sacred rest, which is the Lord's day.See the Matthew 27:57-61 notes; Mark 15:42-47 notes. Lu 23:47-56. Signs and Circumstances Following His Death—His Burial.

(See on [1739]Mt 27:51-56; [1740]Mt 27:62-66; and [1741]Joh 19:31-42).

Greek, subbaton epefwske, the sabbath shined. What preparation was here intended, whether to the weekly sabbath of the Jews, (that it was most certainly), or to the passover also, which some will have to have been this year put off to that day, because of the concurrence of the weekly and the annual feast, I shall not determine, though the most judicious interpreters skilled in the Hebrew writings, think the passover this year was kept in its season, the night before.

And the sabbath, that is, the seventh day, drew on. The Greek word signifies shined, the propriety of which term hath cost critics some pains to make out, for it rather began to be dark than lightsome, their sabbath beginning after the setting of the sun. Some think the word referred to the evening star, which began to shine. Others, that it referred to a lamp or candle, which they were wont to set up, they call it luminare discriminationis, the light of discrimination, which being set up in their several families, the sabbath was accounted to be begun. Others think it referred to the following day. But there need not much labour in the case, for by the same reason that it is said, the evening and the morning made the sabbath day, the sabbath might be said epifwskein (that is, to begin) when it began to be dark, not taking the word in a proper, but in a metaphorical sense.

And that day was the preparation,.... Both for the sabbath, and for the "Chagigah", or grand festival, which they kept on the fifteenth day of the month, in a very pompous manner; so that the day following was an high day;

and the sabbath drew on, or "shone out"; which is so said, though it was evening, on account of the lights, which were every where, in every house, lighted up at this time, and which they were, by their traditions, obliged to: for so run their canons (c);

"three things a man is obliged to say in the midst of his house on the evening of the sabbath, when it is near dark, have ye tithed? have ye mixed? (i.e. the borders of the sabbath, the courts and food) , "light the lamp".''

This was what could by no means be dispensed with; for so they say (d),

"the lighting of the lamp on the sabbath is not in a man's power, (or at his liberty,) if he pleases he may light, and if not, he may not light.----But it is what he is obliged to, and every man and woman are bound to have in their houses a lamp lighted up on the sabbath; and though he has nothing to eat, he must beg, and get oil, and light a lamp; for this is included in the delight of the sabbath.----And he that lights, ought to light within the day, before the setting of the sun.''

So that when these lamps were every where lighting, before the sun was set, and the sabbath properly come, it might be said to draw on, or to be shining forth. Besides, it was usual to call the evening of any day by the name of "light": thus it is said (e),

, on the light (i.e. the night) of the fourteenth (of the month "Nisan"), they search for leaven, &c.''

So that the evangelist might, very agreeably to the way of speaking with the Jews, say, that the sabbath was enlightening, or growing light, though the evening was coming on.

(c) Misn. Sabbat, c. 2. sect. 7. (d) Maimon. Hilch. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 1, 3.((e) Misn. Pesachim, c. 1. sect. 1.

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath {k} drew on.

(k) Literally, dawning, and now beginning, for the light of the former day drew toward the going down of the sun, and that was the day of preparation for the feast, that is, the feast which was to be kept the following day.

Luke 23:54. ἐπέφωσκε, was about to dawn, illucescebat, Vulgate. The evening is meant, and the word seems inappropriate. Lk. may have used it as if he had been speaking of a natural day (as in Matthew 28:1) by a kind of inadvertence, or it may have been used with reference to the candles lit in honour of the day, or following the Jewish custom of calling the night light justified by the text, Psalm 148:3, “Praise Him, all ye stars of light” (vide Lightfoot, Hor. Heb.). Or it may be a touch of poetry, likening the rising of the moon to a dawn. So Casaubon, Exercit. anti-Baronianae, p. 416.

54. the preparation] This word paraskeue became the ordinary Greek word for Friday, because on Friday the Jews diligently prepared for the Sabbath, which began at sunset. The afternoon is called prosabbaton in Mark 15:42. Jos. Antt. xvi. 6. We are told that Shammai, the almost contemporary founder of the most rigid school of legalists, used to spend the whole week in meditating how he could best observe the Sabbath.

drew on] Literally, “began to dawn.” This expression is used, although the Sabbath began at sunset (Mark 15:42), because the whole period of darkness was regarded as anticipatory of the dawn. Hence the Jews sometimes called the evening of Friday ‘the daybreak.’ When St John (John 19:31) calls the coming Sabbath “a high day,” the expression seems clearly to imply that it was both the Sabbath and the day of the Passover.

Luke 23:54. Ἡμέρα ἦν παρασκχευὴ, the day was the preparation) The term παρασκευὴ, is put as an epithet (“It was the preparation-day”).—ἐπέφωσκε, was drawing on [lit. was dawning]) The beginning of the Sabbath was in the evening: and yet the expression used is, was beginning to dawn; for even the night has its own light, especially at the full moon, which was shining at the time.[267]

[267] Rather ἐπέφωσκεν is naturally used, though by catachresis, where day is the subject, even though counted artificially from evening. So the Jews called the evening אוֹר, light, denominating even the beginning of the twenty-four hours day, a potiori parte, viz. the light.—E. and T.

Verse 54. - And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. It was the preparation for the sabbath, but more especially for the great Passover Feast. St. John, for this reason, calls the coming sabbath "a high day." Drew on; literally began to dawn; although the sabbath began at sunset, the whole time of darkness was regarded as anticipatory of the dawn. The evening of Friday was sometimes even called "the daybreak." Luke 23:54
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