9 Be diligent to come to me quickly;
10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica — Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia.
11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.
12 And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.
13 Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments.
be diligent (v.9) = make haste, exert every effort, do your best — the same word translated “study” in 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV).
forsaken (v.10) = abandoned, deserted, left helpless, let down
loved this present world (v.10) — not necessarily drawn away by worldly attractions, but more likely desiring the temporal life over the eternal — he may have feared for his life.
Dalmatia (v.10) — Part of the province of Illyricum on the east side of the Adriatic Sea.
Luke (v.11) — who was also with Paul in his first imprisonment (Colossians 4:14)
take Mark (v.11) = lit. “pick up” — he was probably at some point along Timothy’s route from Ephesus to Rome
Demas and Mark here stand in contrast. The latter, once cowardly (Acts 13:13 [where John Mark is called John]), now bravely faces death; the former, once courageous (Colossians 4:14, Philemon 1:24) now abandons the apostle. — Williams, page 965
Mark, Barnabas’ nephew, had been chose to accompany Paul and Barnabas on Paul’s first apostolic journey, but as soon as the going had gotten hard Mark had deserted the two men and had returned to his mother at Jerusalem (Acts 12:12; Acts 13:13). His irresponsibility was the cause of a division between Paul and Barnabas later, when Barnabas wanted to take his nephew with them on another journey and Paul had flatly refused (Acts 15:36-41).
Yet is is touching, later, to find Paul writing to the Colossians: “If he [Mark] come unto you, receive him” (Colossians 4:10), and now to find Paul asking for him. This speaks both of the apostle’s generous and forgiving nature and of a change in Mark’s life. And is it not significant that God chose Mark, the failing servant (He was an attendant, waiting on Paul and Barnabas, Acts 13:5) to write about the perfect Servant in his Gospel According to Mark. — Stam, pages 223-224
and (v.12) = but — Tychicus was sent by Paul, but Crescens and Titus evidently left on their own initiative, perhaps to do ministry, but in opposition to Paul’s desire
Tychicus (v.12) — Timothy was at Ephesus. Tychicus may have been sent there to carry this letter and/or to take over for Timothy while he traveled to Rome. — see Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; Titus 3:12
cloak (v.13) — They are felt cloaks called kepenikler, and are impervious to wind and water. They are so stiff that the wearer can step out of them and leave them in an upright position. They are made of the tough Cilician goat’s hair with which Paul was familiar in the making of tents. Such a coat must have been a great comfort to Paul on his long journeys. Now he needed it to keep out the cold and damp of his Roman cell [winter was coming (v.21)]. — Wuest, page 166
books (v.13) — scrolls made from papyrus
parchments (v.13) — scrolls made from animal skins — these may have been Scripture, which was usually written on better, longer-lasting scrolls