A Jewish historian.
On site (present page in Greek and English).
Online Critical Pseudepigrapha.
Cleodemus Malchus in the Jewish Encyclopedia.
EJW (Peter Kirby).
Cleodemus Malchus was an ancient Hellenistic historian who wrote
about the Jews. Only a single fragment of his work is preserved,
thanks to Josephus, who is quoting from Alexander Polyhistor,
and Eusebius, who is quoting from Josephus.
Antiquities 1.15[.1] §240-241:
But Josephus also in the first book
of his Antiquities mentions the same man
[Alexander Polyhistor] in these [words]:
1 The textus receptus of Josephus has
2 Josephus has
3 Josephus has
4 Josephus has
5 Josephus has τε
6 Josephus has
7 Josephus has
8 Josephus has
But it is said how this Afren made an expedition
upon Libya and took hold of it; and his grandsons having housed in it and
called the land Africa after his name. And Alexander Polyhistor testifies
to my word, saying thus: But Cleodemus the prophet, who is also Malchas,
while recounting the history concerning the Jews, just as Moses their
lawmaker has narrated it, says that Abraham bore plenty of sons from
Chettura; and he also says what their names were, naming three of them:
Afer, Assur, Afran; and that Assyria was called such after Assur,
and that a city Afra and the country of Africa were named from the other
two, Afra and Afer; and that these men joined Hercules in his expedition
upon Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married the daughter of Afra and
begat a son from her, Diodorus, and that Sophonas was born from him from
whom the barbarian Sophae are called.
Let such things as concern Abraham, therefore, be
sufficient in these few [quotations].
Peter Kirby (Early Jewish Writings).
Peter Kirby surveys scholars writing on Cleodemus Malchus:
Emil Schürer writes: "The work of a certain Cleodemus or Malchus,
of which unfortunately only a short notice is preserved, seems to have presented
a classic example of that intermixture of native (Oriental) and Greek traditions,
which was popular throughout the region of Hellenism. The notice in question
is communicated by Alexander Polyhistor, but is taken by Eusebius, Praep.
evang. ix. 20, not directly from the latter, but from Josephus, Antt.
i. 15, who on his part quotes literally from Alexander. The author is here called
Κλεοδημος ο προφητης ο και Μαλχος, ο ιστορων τα περι Ιουδαιων καθως και Μωυσης ιστορησεν ο νομοθετης αυτων.
Both the Semitic name Malchus and the contents of the work prove, that the author
was no Greek, but either a Jew or a Samaritan. Freudenthal prefers the latter
view chiefly on account of the intermixture of Greek and Jewish traditions.
But about 200-100 B.C. this is quite as possible in a Jew as in a Samaritan.
In the work of this Malchus it is related, thta Abraham had three sons by Keturah,
Αφεραν, Ασουρειμ, Ιαφραν,
from whom the Assyrians, the town of Aphra and the land of Africa derive their
names. . . . But while in Gen. xxv. Arab tribes are intended, our author derives
from them entirely different nations, which were known to him. He then further
relates, that the three sons of Abraham departed with Heracles to Libya and
Antaeus, that Heracles married the daughter of Aphra, and of her begat Diodorus,
whose son again was Sophonas (or Sophax), from whom the Sophaki derive their
name. These last traditions are also found in the Libyan (or Roman?) history
of King Juba (Plutarch. Sertor. c. ix., also in Müller, Fragm. hist.
gr. iii. 471); only that the genealogical relation of Diodorus and Sophax
is reversed: Heracles begets Sophax of Tinge, the widow of Antaeus, and Diodorus
is the son of Sophax." (The Literature of the Jewish People in the Time
of Jesus, pp. 209-210)
James Charlesworth writes: "Cleodemus Malchus probably lived sometime
in the second century B.C. The odd mixture of Jewish and Greek ideas and loyalties
leads some authorities either to affirm that he was a Samaritan (J. Freudenthal,
Alexander Polyhistor. Breslau: Skutsch, 1875; p. 133) or to deny that
he was a Jew (B. Z. Wacholder, no. 688; cf. no. 819). However, the extreme varities
we are now perceiving within Judaism, especially in the second century B.C.,
should preclude us from denying that he was a Jew." (The Pseudepigrapha
and Modern Research, p. 93)