I note that the LORD is in the process of announcing that their captivity would last 70 years and no less:
KJV Jeremiah 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
To my aged soul that sounds like he's saying that they will die in exile while in the same breath he is speaking of "performing his good word" toward them (returning them to the Land).
But then he says:
KJV Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Many possibilities fly through my head (there is a lot of room in there) as to what is going on:
- this brings to mind the 40 years in the wilderness
- the 40 years were to kill off a single generation so the 70 years is either overkill for one generation or the second generation would be elderly
- it is easy to see the LORD being stern and exacting the full sum of their guilt but he says he has plans for them of "peace and not of evil" and to give them "an expected end"
- could he be referring to resurrection for generation 1 and generation 2 (who had never been to Israel) would "be returned" to Israel?