Luke 23:54

54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

Read Luke 23:54 Using Other Translations

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.
This was done late on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation, as the Sabbath was about to begin.

What does Luke 23:54 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Luke 23:54

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 F3;

``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) (rnh wqyldh) , "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 F5,
``(rve ebral rwa) , on the light (i.e. the night) of the fourteenth (of the month "Nisan"), they search for leaven''
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.
FOOTNOTES:

F3 Misn. Sabbat, c. 2. sect. 7.
F4 Maimon. Hilch. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 1, 3.
F5 Misn. Pesachim, c. 1. sect. 1.
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