O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to
prayer of thy servant
To the prayer of Nehemiah, put up at this time:
and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy
the prayer of the Jews in Judea, whose desire was to worship the Lord in his temple, according to his will:
and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day;
meaning himself, who was to wait on the king of Persia that day, and, if he had opportunity, intended to lay the case of the Jews before him, and therefore entreats he might meet with success:
and grant him mercy in the sight of this man;
King Artaxerxes, who was but a man, and whose heart was in the hands of God, and he could easily move him to pity and compassion towards his poor people the Jews:
for I was the king's cupbearer;
in the execution of which office he was often in the king's presence, and hoped to have an opportunity of speaking to him in the behalf of the Jews; this with the Persians was reckoned a very honourable office F7. A son of Prexaspes, a very honourable man, was made cupbearer to Cambyses; and so it was with the Greeks and Romans F8; and the poets not only make Ganymedes to be Jupiter's cupbearer F9, but even Vulcan himself is put into this office F11.
F7 Herodot. Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 34. Xenophon. Cyropaedia, l. 5. c. 36.
F8 Vid. Athenaei Deipnosophist. l. 10.
F9 Homer. Iliad. 21. ver. 234.
F11 Homer. Iliad. 1. prope finem.