on Colossians 4 :10
Aristarchus my fellow prisoner - Concerning Aristarchus, see Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; Acts 27:2; and see the note on Acts 27:2. Aristarchus and Epaphras are mentioned as saluters in this epistle, and in that to Philemon written at the same time; but here he is said to be a prisoner, and Epaphras not. In that to Philemon, Epaphras is called a prisoner, and Aristarchus not. One of them is wrong, though it is uncertain which; unless both were prisoners. See Wall's Crit. Notes. As Aristarchus had been a zealous and affectionate adherent to St. Paul, and followed him in all his journeys, ministering to him in prison, and assisting him in preaching the Gospel in Rome, he might have been imprisoned on this account. We need not suppose that both he and Epaphras were imprisoned at the same time; about the same time they might be imprisoned, but it might be so ordered by the providence of God that when Aristarchus was imprisoned Epaphras was at liberty, and while Epaphras was in prison Aristarchus was at liberty. This is a very possible and easily to be conceived case.
Marcus - See the account of this person, Acts 15:39. Though there had been some difference between the apostle and this Mark, yet from this, and 2 Timothy 4:11, we find that they were fully reconciled, and that Mark was very useful to St. Paul in the work of the ministry.
Touching whom ye received commandments - What these were we cannot tell; it was some private communication which had been previously sent to the Colossian Church.
on Colossians 4 :10
Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner - Aristarchus was of Thessalonica, and is mentioned in Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4, as Paul's companion in his travels. In Acts 27:2, it is said that he accompanied him in his voyage to Rome, and from the passage before us it appears that he was there imprisoned with him. As he held the same sentiments as Paul, and was united with him in his travels and labors, it was natural that he should be treated in the same manner. He, together with Gaius, had been seized in the tumult at Ephesus and treated with violence, but he adhered to the apostle in all his troubles, and attended him all his perils. Nothing further is certainly known of him, though "the Greeks say that he was bishop of Assamea in Syria, and was beheaded with Paul at Rome, under Nero" - Calmet.
And Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas - John Mark, in relation to whom Paul and Barnabas had formerly disagreed so much as to cause a separation between Barnabas and Paul. The ground of the disagreement was, that Barnabas wished to take him, probably on account of relationship, with them in their travels; Paul was unwilling to take him, because he had, on one occasion, departed from them; Notes, Acts 15:37-39. They afterward became reconciled, and Paul mentions Mark here with affection. He sent for him when he sent Tychicus to Ephesus, and it seems that he had come to him in obedience to his request; 2 Timothy 4:11. Mark had probably become more decided, and Paul did not harbor unkind and unforgiving feelings toward anyone.
Touching whom ye received commandments - What these directions were, and how they were communicated, whether verbally or by writing, is now unknown. It was, not improbably, on some occasion when Paul was with them. He refers to it here in order that they might know distinctly whom he meant.
If he come to you, receive him - In Plm 1:24, Mark is mentioned as a" fellow-laborer" of Paul. It would seem probable, therefore, that he was not a prisoner. Paul here intimates that he was about to leave Rome, and he enjoins it on the Colossians to receive him kindly. This injunction may have been necessary, as the Colossians may have been aware of the breach between him and Paul, and may have been disposed to regard him with suspicion. Paul retained no malice, and now commended, in the warmest manner, one from whom he was formerly constrained to separate.
on Colossians 4 :10
4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner - Such was Epaphras likewise for a time, Phm 1:23. Ye have received directions - Namely, by Tychicus, bringing this letter. The ancients adapted their language to the time of reading the letter; not, as we do, to the time when it was written. It is not improbable, they might have scrupled to receive him, without this fresh direction, after he had left St. Paul, and departed from the work.