Who was Jesse ? King David’s father was “Jesse” or Yishai (Hebrew: יִשַׁי, Yíšay, meaning “God’s gift”). King David was sometimes simply referred to as “Son of Jesse” (Ben Yishai) – (Luke:3:31-32). Jesse was the son of Obed, and the grandson of Ruth (Luke 3). Jesse was a Bethlehemite.(1 Samuel 16:1). God specifically told Prophet Samuel to choose a king from the sons of Jesse.
David, son of Jesse, was anointed by God to be the second King of Israel. In 1 Sam 16:1: And the LORD said unto Samuel, ….fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. God guided Samuel to David, His choice. Unlike man, looking at the outside, the “LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:12-13 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. ….”. With and through David, God established the Davidic Covenant whereby God established the Kingdom through David and his seed forever. (see here What is the Davidic covenant?)
More than 700 years before the birth of Christ in David’s home town in Bethlehem, the prophet Isaiah revealed the prophecy on the “Root of Jesse” ? In Luke 3, we see the genealogy of Jesus Christ traced down through Joseph (Jesus’ earthly father) and then right down to King David (Luke:3:31-32)- “David, Which was the son of Jesse”. In Isaiah 11, we see clearly the “Root of Jesse”, Jesus Christ as King, will rule and reign over the earth with righteousness, justice and power.
Isaiah 11:1-5, 10
1. There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins……..In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
“Root of Jesse” stood as a sign for the people. All people, Jews and Gentiles will look to Jesus Christ, “of him shall the nations inquire”.
Paul re-stated Isaiah in Romans 15 and pointed to Jesus Christ as the “Root of Jesse”. In Rom 15:12 “And again Isaiah saith, “There shall be a Root of Jesse, and He that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles trust.” Paul reminded Christians, as non-Jews were not the original receivers of the Abraham’s Covenant, by faith trusting in the “Root of Jesse”, we are now saved from His wrath and graciously grafted by Jesus Christ to into His body: “you,although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree” Rom 11:17. All born again Christians are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ and are the spiritual children of Abraham and by God’s sovereign grace enjoy God’s blessings promised to Abraham.
Rom 11:8 “Now I say, that Jesus Christ was a minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written: “For this cause I will confess to Thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto Thy name.” And again he saith, “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and laud Him, all ye people.”
Lets be always thankful to God for His Grace in revealing and giving us the faith in the “Root of Jesse”: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.