A. Sutherland – AncientPages.com – The role of cupbearer goes back many thousands of years, and many prominent figures held it.
At the royal courts and in the nobles and princes’ households, the cupbearer was a trusted person. His duty was to supervise, pour, and serve the drinks at the royal table.
Nehemiah served as the king’s cupbearer (Nehemiah 1:11), which gave him countless possibilities to speak to the king and request favors from him. Image source
The chosen cupbearer was usually a high-ranked and noble person of the royal court. Usually, he was also influential, wealthy, and the ruler trusted him, often showing gratitude.
He was with the ruler at all times, and his primary duty was to taste the wine served to the king as a precaution against poisoning. The king could rely on his loyalty and trust him.
In old times, monarchs were paranoid about attempted assassinations, but not without reason. Due to the constant fear of conspiracies and intrigue, the king’s cupbearer must be completely reliable. As poisoning was very often a way to get rid of a king or another important figure, the cupbearer’s most serious responsibility was to protect his master, family members, and guests at the table.
Secret Conversations Behind Closed Doors
He had to make sure that no one had tampered with drinks and food. The cupbearer would also pour wine or other drinks to honored guests present at the table. It would make him privy to many conversations taking place at the table, and political secrets that were always hidden behind closed doors.
Source: AncientPages.com- Read rest of the article here