Even though animal sacrifices were used in the worship of God from as early as Cain and Abel, when God made the covenant with Israel, only one sacrifice was required. Exodus 23:18 shows that it was the Passover sacrifice, which God calls "My sacrifice." He further confirms here that He added the sacrificial system later. Sacrifices were not added, but the sacrificial system was added. Obviously, they were sacrificing before the Old Covenant was made.
He gives a very definite time marker, "when you were brought out of Egypt," which is just prior to the making of the Old Covenant. He is undoubtedly referring to the Covenant. God did not speak to them nor command them about making burnt offerings and sacrifices at this time. That came later.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 18)
Jeremiah says that God never commanded offerings and sacrifices when the Old Covenant was made! He is talking about the generation to whom God gave His law and with whom He made the Old Covenant. It is easily understood why no other sacrifices are given in the Old Covenant except for the Passover (see Exodus 23:18). God does not mention them because He did not require them under the terms of the Old Covenant. All He wanted Israel to do was to keep the Ten Commandments, the statutes, and the judgments that He had already given to them with one exception—the Passover, the only sacrifice that He required!
This is one reason why the New Covenant did not perpetuate the other sacrifices, even though the Old Covenant became obsolete: The sacrifices were never a part of it in the first place. In terms of Passover, the symbols changed to bread and wine, but we still keep it.
There are three reasons why true Christians keep Passover even though it is also part of the Old Covenant. First, like the Ten Commandments, they preceded the making of the Old Covenant. Passover was commanded in Exodus 12, enforced, and practiced before Israel ever got to Mt. Sinai. Second, it is commanded in the New Testament and shown by the example of Christ and the apostles. Third, Passover is included within the statutes of God as a corollary of the fourth commandment. It is a festival and therefore to be kept.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part 17)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Jeremiah 7:22: