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Jeremiah 7:22 (KJV)

22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:

But in Exodus the Lord said to Moses:

Exodus 12:26-27 (KJV)

26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.

What is interesting is that God had ordered sacrifices to be offered to him for instance the Passover lamb. So why would the Prophet say that God spoke nothing respecting sacrifices?

  • You may find the more modern NIV translation helpful. Additionally, verse 23 may help clarify. – jpmc26 Mar 8 '17 at 7:44
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I hope this is not too simplified. But if I may offer something. Often these types of things require a paradigm shift. What I mean by that is, that reading it and thinking YHWH is saying He's given no commands nor instructions on sacrifices, we think "yes you have".

But that's not what YHWH is saying. Infact just reading to the next verse should shift our paradigm enough to see it

"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you." Verse 23

You see He's not saying I've never said anything about sacrifices and offerings. He's saying the point was not to that end. He's saying my point was not to command them in the ways of offerings and sacrifices, but to obey my voice.

So you simply have YHWH telling Jeremiah, the concern was not burnt offerings or sacrifices, the concern was obeying my voice. That's all He means by it.

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    I think you hit the nail on the head. This is a use of a dialectical negative and requires the following verse just as you pointed out. This is the same sentiment that can be seen several times throughout the Bible. The first that comes to mind is Hosea 6:4-6 – Micah Gafford Mar 15 '17 at 6:25
  • @n-ish You probably realize by now this isn't a forum, so when posting answers, do just post answers (not personal salutations of various kinds). Note that this is not a "Christian" site. Thanks! – Dɑvïd Mar 15 '17 at 8:47
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    @David what I've realized is that this Q&A site has humans, writing to other humans. I like to acknowledge the person. I'm sorry you were upset by my "personal salutations of various kinds" to persons. Additionally, as a Christian, a website does not need to be a "Christian" site for me to treat it like it is. Nor does it need to be a Christian world for me to act as if I'm a Christian in it. So if I act all Christiany, just know, it's not this site, it's Christ. Thank you David. God bless. – N.Ish Mar 15 '17 at 17:27
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Perhaps this indicates a tension between ritual and ethics in the formation of Judaism? The prophets often focus on social justice and emphasize care for the poor and the widows over ritual sacrifices (see Isaiah 1:13-17, 3:15, 10:2, Amos 5:21-24, Micah 6:6-8, Jeremiah 22:16). On the other hand the temple establishment was concerned with ritual sacrifices. Once the temple was destroyed in 586 BC, the religious leaders had to define a new Judaism if you will, without temple and without animal sacrifice. So they began to emphasize the ethical commands of the Torah and the idea that worship of the true God meant obeying his ethical commands.

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Personally I believe that God really never took pleasure in any of this sacrificial religious activity. He made and fed and loved these animals. Moses grew up sacrificing to gods probably with even babies being sacrificed. He knew and God knew the people would never make it without this horrible religious pagan rite. Plus no matter how much blood that was spilt it could never make up for the pain in Gods heart of the coming of His Son and His death and the horror of the cross. Never forget God is eternal meaning He is the past present and future of all things. Something we cannot fathom being finite as we all are. Man kind does his sacrificing God does His. Which is greater? Or have any of us even come near sacrificing our most precious love for The benefit of others? Let’s be real about all of this. Who is the real murderer? The real theif, the real liar? Satan and his cronies are the opposite of Gods love and goodness. That’s where sacrifices came from. It breaks Gods heart. Death is not from God, it comes from Adams sin. Who was The tempter? We gave our rights away when we were tempted to go our own way do our own thing and not believe that God is good like He is. God is good! In the garden of Eden it’s this very question satan presented to Eve? Did God really tell you that, not to eat this because He loves you and knows the minute you do eat this fruit you will die? What’s behind that statement? God doesn’t care about you He is not good like you think He is, He’s our to get you, keep things from you, and God is a liar! Ha, there’s only one liar here it’s satan. Satan demanded payment for man kind. With murder. God has always been saving us be it the flood the holacost. Whatever it is. There’s only one bad guy. God is not him. I have researched this and am further researching this. It is scriptural. The New Testament plainly says that the truth of GOD IS SEEN IN Jesus Christ. It’s also just plain fact sacrifices ended after the crucifixion. 70 years afterward but still it happened. There is a reason. Why do I believe this? He told me. All the blood in the world which He gave in the beginning anyway. Everything created is because He created it. None of it could make up for the pain of seeing His Son suffer what He sufffered. Who has that kind of love inside of them? Sacrificing animals ( which God made and He loves ) is one way to try to get it through to mankind what it would cost in the end to save them. Save us. God never took pleasure in any of it. That’s just not who our God is. Believe the gospel it’s just that simple. Believe God loves and God is good.

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In Jeremiah 7:21-24, the phrase that God never commanded Israel to perform burnt offerings and sacrifices on the day that Israel left Egypt, clearly does not include the Passover, since that would not only make it to be even as the many offerings which were offered upon the altar(which the Passover was not), but would ignore the construct of the verse itself, which puts the postulation of offerings as occurring after they had left Egypt(Jer 7:22-23,11:6-8), that is, after the Passover. Furthermore, the context of Jeremiah 7 discusses the activities of Shiloh, the location of the Mosaic tabernacle, which implies that the postulated sacrifices pertained to the altar of the place of God(Jer 7:12-14, cmp. Deu 12:5-6;26-27); the book of Jeremiah often refers to these sorts of sacrifices with such phrases(Jer 6:20,14:11-12,17:26,19:5{~},33:18). It is these types of offerings also to which Moses spake, declaring them to be the offerings which would be defined to them after they had left Egypt[Exd 10:24-26], which was later confirmed and detailed on Mt. Sinai(Exd 20:24, Lev 7:35-38), and thus accordingly, would not have included the Passover. Other verses as well distinguish the Passover from those offerings(2 Chr 35:13-16, Num 28:16-25).

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