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What did a cupbearer do?

olI was cupbearer to the king. Nehemiah 1:11

            A cupbearer drank every drink before the king drank it, kind of like a secret service agent.  It was a highly respected and trusted position since the cupbearer put his life on the line every day.  It also created a deterrent since people knew the king would never drink something first.  The king had better like his cupbearer and stay good friends with him.