“But Hovav replied, “I will not go; I would rather go back to my own country and my own kinsmen.” Moshe continued, “Please don’t leave us, because you know that we have to camp in the desert, and you can serve as our eyes. If you do go with us, then whatever good Adonai does for us, we will do the same for you.”-Numbers 10:30-32
Do you recall me in the past teaching that the location of Mount Sinai is NOT actually in the Sinai Peninsula?
That’s right I made the claim (and I’m still making the claim) that Mount Sinai is absolutely NOT located in the Sinai Peninsula where St. Katherine’s Monastery is located.
If you want to review, you can read this article.
And this article.
Oh and there’s also this article!
The historians Josephus and Philo state clearly that Mount Sinai was located on the Arabian Peninsula and the Apostle Paul says so as well in the Book of Galatians.
And let’s not forget that Moses’ burning bush experience also took place in Midian which is on the Arabian Peninsula.
My point is Mount Sinai and the burning bush location are actually the same place.
Okay, so where am I going with all of this?
At this point in our study of Torah, we’ve been introduced to a man named Hobab who Moses asks to travel with Israel as they make their way towards the wilderness.
Hobab wanted to go back home to Midian but Moses begs him to continue with the Israelites into the Wilderness.
Now the key point is this.
What was the reason Moses wanted Hobab to tag along with Israel?
Verse 31 tells us so that he “can serve as our eyes“.
In other words, this Hobab the Midianite fellow (remember Midian is located on the Arabian Peninsula) is obviously very familiar with the area Israel will be traveling through.
Now let me add another piece of key information to the whole puzzle here.
In the Book of Joshua, Hobab the Midianite is also referred to as a Kenite.
Do NOT think this is a contradiction.
Because the term “Midianite” is a tribal identification whereas the term “Kenite” is referring to the location where the person hails from.
In other words, one can both be a “Goldstein” and a “Californian” at the same time, right?
Now here’s the thing.
The Kenites mainly resided in the Arabian Peninsula area (slightly north of Midian)!
Now here’s another thing.
The term “Kenite” comes from the word Canaanite.
However, I’m not saying a “Kenite” is a “Canaanite” in terms of bloodlines but in terms of location (where he comes from).
To put it simply, this Hobab fellow was a person of the tribe of Midian whose home was near the land of Canaan, the Promised Land that God would soon be handing over to Israel.
So my whole point is this.
Moses wanted Hobab to travel with them because he was very familiar with their current location, the Arabian Peninsula which was home to the Midianites and Kenites, and he knew how to get to where they they were traveling.
So seriously, which makes more sense?
That Hobab for absolutely no reason whatsoever was familiar with the Sinai Peninsula which was nowhere near Midian and was a barren wasteland with just a few Egyptian military outposts.
Or that he was familiar with the Arabian Peninsula where the Israelites are currently located at this point in Scripture and which happens to be the land where his hometown is located?