A Bethlehemite, best known as the father of David. The earliest historical mention of him (1Sa 17:12; see David,
And then the LORD said unto Samuel, "How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have cast him away from reigning over Israel? Fill a horn with ointment, and come: I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have spied me a king among his sons."
Then answered one of his servants and said, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that can play upon instruments, and is an active fellow and a man of war and prudent and well made, and the LORD is with him."
And this David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, named Jesse; which Jesse had eight sons, and was an old man in the days of Saul among the people.
And David went thence to Mizpeh in the land of Moab, and said unto the king of Moab, "Let my father and mother, I pray thee, have their abiding with you, till I know what God will do with me." And he left them with the king of Moab, and they dwelt with him all the while that David kept himself in holds.