When he was gone out, his servants came
When Ehud was gone through the porch, and out of the palace, the servants of Eglon, who had been put out, came to the parlour door to reassume their former place, and finish their business with the king, or in order to wait upon him as usual:
and when they saw that behold the doors of the parlour [were] locked;
which they supposed were done by the king himself with inside, having no suspicion of Ehud:
they said, surely,
or "perhaps", as Noldius F6 renders it,
he covereth his feet in his summer chamber;
that is, was easing nature; and, as the eastern people wore long and loose garments, when they sat down on such an occasion, their feet were covered with them; or they purposely gathered them about their feet to cover them, and so this became a modest expression for this work of nature, see ( 1 Samuel 24:3 ) ; though some think that in that place, and also in this, is meant lying down to sleep; and that Eglon's servants supposed that he had laid himself down on his couch in his summer chamber to take sleep, when it was usual to cover the feet with long garments, to hide those parts of nature which otherwise might be exposed; and it must be owned that this seems more agreeable to a summer parlour than the former, and better accounts for the servants waiting so long as they did; and Josephus F7 is express for it, that his servants thought he had fallen asleep. Indeed, the Jews in later times used the phrase in the first sense F8, which seems to be taken from hence.
F6 Ebr. Concord. part. p. 47. No. 237.
F7 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 2.)
F8 Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 2.