|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Beloved, the Kenite, has been usually identified with Jethro (q.v.), Exodus 18:5, 27; comp. Numbers 10:29, 30. In Judges 4:11, the word rendered "father-in-law" means properly any male relative by marriage (Comp. Genesis 19:14, "son-in-law, " A.V.), and should be rendered "brother-in-law," as in the R.V. His descendants followed Israel to Canaan (Numbers 10:29), and at first pitched their tents near Jericho, but afterwards settled in the south in the borders of Arad (Judges 1:8-11, 16).
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ho'-bab (chobhabh, "beloved"; Septuagint Obab): This name occurs only twice (Numbers 10:29 Judges 4:11). It is not certain whether it denotes the father-in-law or the brother-in-law of Moses. The direct statement of Numbers 10:29 is that Hobab was "the son of Reuel" (the King James Version "Raguel"). This is probably the correct view and finds support in Exodus 18:27, which tells us that some time before the departure of the Israelites from Sinai, Jethro had departed and returned to his own land. The statement of Judges 4:11 is ambiguous, and therefore does not help us out of the difficulty, but is rather itself to be interpreted in the light of the earlier statement in Numbers 10:29.
Mohammedan traditions favor the view that Hobab was only another name for Jethro. But this has little weight against the statements of Scripture. However, whether father-in-law or brother-in-law to Moses, the service he rendered to the leader of the hosts of Israel was most valuable and beautiful. Hobab was an experienced sheikh of the desert whose counsel and companionship Moses desired in the unfamiliar regions through which he was to journey. His knowledge of the wilderness and of its possible dangers would enable him to be to the Israelites "instead of eyes."
The facts recorded of this man are too meager to enable us to answer all the questions that arise concerning him. A difficulty that remains unsolved is the fact that in Judges 1:16 and 4:11 he is described as a Kenite, while in Exodus 3:1 and 18:1, the father-in-law of Moses is spoken of as "the priest of Midian."
Jesse L. Cotton
Hobab (3 Occurrences)
Numbers 10:29 Moses said to Hobab, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are journeying to the place of which Yahweh said,'I will give it to you.' Come with us, and we will treat you well; for Yahweh has spoken good concerning Israel." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 1:16 Now Hobab the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, had come up out of the town of palm-trees, with the children of Judah, into the waste land of Arad; and he went and was living among the Amalekites; (BBE)
Judges 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)