Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy while imprisoned in Rome. Timothy planned to visit him soon, so Paul asked him to bring these three items when he came.
The apostle’s needs were simple-a cloak, or his long outer robe, to keep him warm, and several scrolls and parchments. These were writing materials similar to our modern paper (Job 19:23-24 and Isa 34:4).
Were these scrolls and parchments blank? If so, did Paul plan to use them to write letters to other churches and church leaders, just as he had written this letter to Timothy? Or had these materials already been written on? Did they contain copies of the Old Testament scriptures, perhaps, or other sacred writings that Paul planned to read and mediate on to help pass the time in prison?
We don’t know. What we do know is that Paul had learned the secret of abundant living in the midst of sparse circumstances. On another occasion he expressed it like this: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philip 4:11).
2 TIMOTHY 4:13 – The cloke that I [Paul] left at Troas with Carpus, when thou [Timothy] comest, bring with thee, and the books [scrolls, NIV], but especially the parchments.