Did God Talk About Sacrifices at the Exodus? Ex 20:24, Jer 7:22

Are Exodus 20:24 and Jeremiah 7:22 contradictory concerning whether God spoke about sacrifices at the Exodus? Learn the solution to this supposed problem.
Bible "contradictions"
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Quick answer

Jeremiah 7:22 is referring to one specific day, the day that He brought the Israelites out of Egypt. In Exodus 20:24, God is speaking about sacrifices at Mount Sinai, three months after "the day" that He brought the Israelites out of Egypt.

The argument

Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning whether God spoke about sacrifices at the Exodus. Exodus 20:24 says that He did, while Jeremiah 7:22 says that He did not. Here are the relevant passages:

God spoke about sacrifices

Exodus 20:24 - An altar of earth you shall make for me and 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 in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices.

The answer

There is no contradiction because Jeremiah 7:22 is referring to "the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt," which is one specific day. On this day, God did not speak to the Israelites about burnt offerings or sacrifices.

In Exodus 20:24, God is speaking to the Israelites from Mount Sinai, which the Israelites reached three months after "the day" that God brought them out of Egypt.

So, God did not speak to the Israelites about burnth offerings or sacrifices on "the day" that He brought them out of Egypt, but He did speak about them three months later, at Mount Sinai.

"I don't buy that explanation"

Some people have trouble accepting possible explanations to alleged contradictions in the Bible, especially ones that they consider a stretch. For example, Dan Barker, president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says this:

I have received numerous replies from Christians who think that these contradictions are either trivial or easily explained. Yet not a single "explanation" has been convincing.

Fact vs Opinion

The fact is that there are plausible explanations for every alleged contradiction in the Bible. That there is a plausible explanation for an alleged contradiction does not mean that it is definitely the correct explanation for the alleged contradiction.

However, as long as a possible explanation has been suggested, then it has been objectively demonstrated that there is no necessary contradiction regarding the Bible verses and passages brought up.

When people like Dan Barker say that they don't find a particular explanation for a contradiction "convincing," then that is merely their opinion. A plausible explanation has been suggested that eliminates the necessary alleged contradiction. They simply don't like it, which is not at all a relevant argument against the explanation.

Additional Resources

To read more about solutions to Bible contradictions and difficulties, check out Norman Geisler's The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation. While we do not agree with some of Geisler's theology, particularly concerning his view of predestination, this book is still an excellent resource. It is thorough and filled with research.

Another book to check out is Tim Chaffey's Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions: Exploring Forty Alleged Contraditions, which also answers many alleged contradictions in the Bible.

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