Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
EICHORN thinks the reference here to be to some celestial portent which had appeared at that time, causing the Jews' dismay. Probably the reference is general, namely, to the Chaldeans, famed as astrologers, through contact with whom the Jews were likely to fall into the same superstition.
way—the precepts or ordinances (Leviticus 18:3; Acts 9:2).
signs of heaven—The Gentiles did not acknowledge a Great First Cause: many thought events depended on the power of the stars, which some, as PLATO, thought to be endued with spirit and reason. All heavenly phenomena, eclipses, comets, etc., are included.
one cutteth a tree, etc.—rather, "It (that which they busy themselves about: a sample of their 'customs') is a tree cut out of the forest" [MAURER].
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