I was cupbearer to the King.
It reads a bit like a throwaway line seemingly unconnected with all that’s gone before, coming as it does at the end of a passionate, heartfelt prayer.
So what, we might say - Nehemiah, now you tell us that you’re the wine waiter in the Kings Palace. A nice clean job for a slave in exile, at least you don’t get your hands dirty and there are certain fringe benefits with the quality of the dinner menu.
There’s much more to this statement – and to the position it describes – than meets the eye. It’s a position of responsibility (you’re tasting the King’s food and drink) and it provides intimate access to the corridors of power where the movers move and the shakers shake. It is also a position of trust, one that it is neither won easily nor awarded lightly.