Jesse was the father of King David. He was told by Samuel that the Lord is naming one of his sons to be the successor of King Saul. Samuel asked Jesse to present his seven sons to him. But none was revealed to be the chosen one. Then Jesse said there was a eighth one, the youngest, who was away tending the sheep (1 Samuel 16:11). David was sent for and Samuel anointed him to become the new King of Israel.
Later Jesse gave his permission for David to play soothing music on the harp for Saul, when saul was suffering from mental illness. Later still, Jesse sent David to "see how your brothers are doing" in Saul's army, fighting the Philistines. David also brought some food for his brothers. It was at this time, David heard the challenge of Goliath, and killed Goliath with his slingshot (1 Samuel 17).
The title "son of Jesse" soon became attached to David. Biblical prophecies such as "there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse" (Isaiah 11:1) refers to the coming of the Messiah. Both Matthew and Luke list Jesse among the ancestors of Jesus.
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