And they tarried until they were ashamed
And knew not what to think of it, or what methods to take to be satisfied of the truth of the matter, and what should be the meaning of the doors being kept locked so long:
and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour;
this was what surprised them, and threw them into this confusion of mind, that they knew not what course to take for fear of incurring the king's displeasure, and yet wondered the doors were not opened for so long a time:
therefore they took a key and opened [them];
this is the first time we read of a key, which only signifies something to open with; and the keys of the ancients were different from those of ours; they were somewhat like a crooked sickle F9, which they put in through a hole in the door, and with it could draw on or draw back a bolt, and so could lock or unlock with inside, see ( Song of Solomon 5:4 Song of Solomon 5:5 ) ; and at this day the keys in the eastern countries are unlike ours. Chardin F11 says, that a lock among the eastern people is like a little harrow, which enters half way into a wooden staple, and the key is a wooden handle with points at the end of it, which are pushed into the staple, and so raise this little harrow:
and, behold, their lord [was] fallen dead on the earth;
lay prostrate on the floor of the parlour, dead.
F9 (klhid' eukampea) , Homer. Odyss. 21. ver. 6. & Eustathius in ib.
F11 Apud Calmet's Dictionary, on the word "Key".