Problem: Jeremiah says that God did not speak to the early Israelites about sacrifices when He brought them out of Egypt. In Exodus, however, God seems to say a lot about sacrifices. Is this a contradiction? Note the verses:
God did speak about sacrifices:
Exodus 20:24, “You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.”
God did not speak about sacrifices:
Jeremiah 7:22, “For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
In Jeremiah 7:22, God was speaking about “the day” that He brought the Israelites out of Egypt. That day was the day that they took the spoils of Egypt and walked out into the desert finally escaping their bondage. Exodus 20 is the time when Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Between the day that the Israelites left Egypt and the Ten Commandments at Sinai (Exodus 20) was at least three months. “In the third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came into the wilderness of Sinai,” (Exodus 19:1). Therefore, we see that it wasn’t on the day that God brought them out of Egypt that He spoke about sacrifices but three months later at mount Sinai.
The following are some verses extracted between Exodus 12 when Israel left Egypt and Exodus 20 when they received the Ten Commandments. They demonstrate that “that day/the day” is in reference to the day of the Exodus–not their arrival three months later at Sinai.
1 “Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41And it came about at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt,” (Exodus 12:40-41).
2 “And it came about on that same day that the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts,” (Exodus 12:51)
3 “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten,” (Exodus 13:3).
“An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. (Ex 20:24)”