Here's are a few phrases from the very beginning of the sutta. Any insight on their significance would be appreciated.
1. Ananda refers to Rammaka's hermitage as "pleasing" and "delightful". He then says it would be good if the Buddha went there "out of sympathy". Does Ananda call the hermitage "pleasing" because he knows a group of bhikkus will gather there with the wish to hear the Dhamma?
2. The Buddha "acquiesced through silence." Is there any significance to this rather than a verbal "yes"?
3. "So the Blessed One went to the hermitage of Rammaka the brahman. Now at that time a large number of monks had gathered in the hermitage of Rammaka the brahman for a Dhamma discussion. The Blessed One stood outside the door waiting for the discussion to end. On knowing that the discussion had ended, clearing his throat, he tapped at the door. The monks opened the door for him. Entering the hermitage of Rammaka the brahman, the Blessed One sat down on a seat made ready. As he was sitting there, he addressed the monks: "For what discussion are you gathered together here? In the midst of what discussion have you been interrupted?"
"Lord, our interrupted Dhamma discussion was about the Blessed One himself, and then the Blessed One arrived."
So there is already a Dhamma discussion going on among the Bhikkus themselves. The Buddha waits for it to "end", but the sutta further goes on to say the Buddha knows it has ended. Then the discussion is described as having been "interrupted". When I first read this sutta, I was expecting the bhikkus to say, "No, you have not interrupted the discussion. It has ended." Is this just one particular subject of their discussion had ended, and a pause in the discussion was taking place?
4. The Buddha clears his throat and taps on the door. This whole sequence of waiting for the discussion to end, knowing it has ended, clearing his throat, and tapping on the door seems like an intentionally formal process. It seems like there's some significance in how it is presented, perhaps an example of how an introduction or approach to the Dhamma is to be conducted.