SUMMARY.--A Charge to Masters. Prayer and Prudence Commended. Tychicus, the Bearer of the Letter, Introduced. Onesimus Commended. Greetings from Brethren at Rome. The Epistle of the Laodiceans.
7-9. All my state shall Tychicus declare. See Eph. 6:21 for note on Tychicus. He carried the Epistle to the Ephesians, and that to the Colossians on the same journey. He was probably a native of Ephesus, and was one of Paul's most trusted evangelists. See Acts 20:4 Acts 20:2 2 Tim. 4:12 Titus 3:12 . It should be kept in mind that all Paul's Epistles were sent by messengers. There were no postal arrangements for carrying private letters such as exist in our times. 8. Whom I have sent. Not only to carry letters, but to ascertain the state of the churches, and to instruct and comfort them. He came as an evangelist to help them on. 9. With Onesimus. A peculiar interest is connected with Onesimus because he is the subject of the Epistle to Philemon. He belonged to Colosse, was probably a slave of Philemon, and had fled to Rome, and now returns as "a faithful and beloved brother." Tychicus bore also at this time the letter to Philemon.
10-13. There follow Christian remembrances from several of Paul's companions. Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner. A Macedonian from Thessalonica ( Acts 19:29 Acts 20:4 Acts 27:2 ). He accompanied Paul from Jerusalem to Rome. He is named in Philemon 24 . And Marcus. The old companion of Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary tour. Sister's son to Barnabas. It is now conceded that this should be, "Cousin to Barnabas." Since in this year (probably A. D. 62) Mark attends Paul, it is inferred that Barnabas was dead. Touching whom. Mark. Commandments. Commendations. Receive him. Perhaps these churches knew that at one time Paul had refused to have Mark in his company ( Acts 15:38 ), and hence would not have received him cordially without such a commendation. 11. And Jesus, which is called Justus. We only know of this man that, like Mark, he was a Jewish Christian, of the circumcision, and highly commended by Paul. 12. Epaphras. See note on Col. 1:7. He is thought to have founded the church at Colosse. One of you. A member of the Colossian church. For you in prayers. In his absence from you he continues to labor fervently for you in his prayers. 13. Them that are in Laodicea. The sister city near at hand across the valley of the Lycus. Hierapolis. Another city close at hand, in which a church had been planted. Probably Epaphras planted it also.
14, 15. Luke. The historian. Note that two, Mark and Luke, were both with Paul at this time. See /Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=re&chapter=001#" He was a Gentile. Demas. Named also, and not to his credit, in 2 Tim. 4:10 ; also in Philemon 24 . 15. Nymphas. An inhabitant of Laodicea. The church which is in his house. "His" in the Old Version; "her" in the Vatican MS., but the best authority renders it "their house;" i. e., the house of Nymphas and his family. In the first century no church building existed, and the Christians met in private houses. A portion, at least, of those in Laodicea met in the house of Nymphas, and are greeted as "the church in their house." See also Romans 16:5 Romans 16:1 1 Cor. 16:19 Philemon 2 .
16-18. Likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea. The Epistles addressed to these contiguous churches were for each other. Tychicus no doubt bore also a letter to the Laodiceans. Whether that letter was lost, whether it is the Epistle to the Ephesians, or whether the letter was a general letter to the churches of Asia, has been much discussed. My own opinion is that more than one copy of the Ephesian letter was made, one being delivered to the Ephesian church, and the other to the church at Laodicea. Space will not permit of a discussion upon this point. 17. Say to Archippus. He is named in Philemon 2 . He had some important work, and was possibly a preacher. 18. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Paul dictated his epistles to an amanuensis ( Rom. 16:22 ), but was wont to add a salutation in his own hand ( Galatians 6:11 Galatians 6:2 Th 3:17 Th 3:1 1 Cor. 16:21 ). Remember my bonds. Three times this chapter he alludes to his chains, in Colossians 4:3 Colossians 4:10 Colossians 4:18 . The thought is, "Be willing to suffer for the gospel even as I do."