“Jesse (meaning uncertain; rich; powerful; my present), grandson of Booz and Ruth, father of King David. Jesse of the tribe of Juda, lived at Bethlehem (Ruth, 4). He was an old man, when Samuel came to Bethlehem to anoint David, the new King of Israel (1 Kings, 16). In the time of Saul, the family of Jesse occupied a humble condition; for David calls himself poor and unimportant (1 Kings, 18). As descendant of David the Messias is called the “root of Jesse” (Is., 11).The New Catholic Dictionary, page 504 - Imprimatur 1929 Jesse is also called Isai according to the Douay Rheims version of the Holy Bible. The information is located in the Historical Index of the Old Testament.
Israel Ruled by Kings
We know that Jacob had twelve sons. Each of these sons became the forefather of a large group of people known as a tribe. There were, therefore, twelve tribes of Israel, and they were named after Jacob’s twelve sons. When the Israelites had taken the land of Chanaan, each tribe was give a share of land in which to live: In place of the tribe of Joseph, however, the tribes of his two sons received each a share, for Jacob had adopted them as his own children before he died. But the tribe of Levi were not given any land because they were priests and had to live among the other tribes. During the rule of the Judges the different tribes ruled themselves, except when they went out together to meet an enemy. Then they fought under great leaders like Gedeon or Samuel. By and by the tribes of Israel became so large and strong that they needed a powerful leader to bring them all together as one great nation. We shall see how the first king of Israel was appointed by God Himself and how the Chosen People were governed sometimes by good and sometimes by very wicked kings.
The First King of Israel
One day the Lord said to Samuel: “Tomorrow, about this same hour, I will send to you a man of the land of Benjamin and you shall anoint him ruler of Israel.” The next day a young man by the name of Saul came into the town in which Samuel lived, and the Lord said to the high priest: “Behold the man of whom I have spoken to you. This man shall reign over My people.” And Samuel poured oil over Saul’s head as a sign that God had chosen him to be king.
When the people of Israel heard that Saul came into the town in which Samuel lived, and the Lord said to the high priest: “Behold the man of whom I have spoken to you. This man shall reign over My people.” And Samuel poured oil over Saul’s head as a sign that God had chosen him to be king. When the people of Israel heard that Saul was to be their king and saw how he stood head and shoulders taller than any man, they were very happy and shouted:” God save the king.” Then they promised to obey his laws and felt sure that he would help them against their enemies, the Philistines. For two years Saul led the people to victory over the Philistines, and God was with him in every battle. There he became proud and disobedient. God wished him to fight against Amalec and to destroy everything that belonged to the enemy. But Saul saved the best of the sheep and of the herds. Then Samuel came to him and said: “Why did you not listen to the voice of the Lord? Why have you done evil?” Saul answered: “I have listened to the voice of the Lord. But the people kept the best of the flocks to offer as sacrifices to God.” “God does not want sacrifices,” Samuel said, “but wants you to obey. Obedience is better than sacrifices.” “You have refused to keep the word of God, therefore God will have nothing to do with you. He has chosen someone else to be a ruler over Israel.” Samuel did not see the king again until the day of his own death, but wept over Saul for a long time.
Other stories you might like to read if time permits:
From: Anecdotes and Examples by Rev. Francis Spirago
"The Helmsman" pg. 345
Coordinating Bible Verses: I Kings 16: 1-13
A printable file of this post with activities is below: