by Ivor Powell

This content is part of a series.

Hobab: The Man Who Refused to Go to Canaan (5 of 34)
Series: Bible Oases: Spiritual Refreshment From Unlikely Places
Ivor Powell
Numbers 10:29-30

There has always been a mystery associated with Hobab who visited Moses as the children of Israel journeyed from Egypt to Canaan. Hebrew scholars believe he was the son of Jethro, the former priest of Midian, who gave his daughter in marriage to the fugitive Moses. The ancient record says, "But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is that ye are come so soon today? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said: I have been a stranger in a strange land" (Ex. 2:15-22).

It appears that Hobab had inherited his father's title, and when Moses returned to Egypt, he was probably among those who bade him farewell as he commenced his journey. Years later, he welcomed the opportunity to visit his sister and her husband, and the reunion caused much rejoicing. It may be assumed that the two men reminisced about earlier times and remembered the days when the daughters were delivered from the annoying shepherds. It was never revealed how long the visitor remained with his brother-in-law, but evidently the patriarch was delighted to entertain his wife's brother, and Moses and Zipporah wondered how they could convince their visitor to ...

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