Gedaliah's story forms a kind of epilogue to the history of the Kingdom of Judah. The kingdom itself had been completely crushed by the Babylonians already, but under Gedaliah Babylon hoped that it had found a compliant ruler who could rally the spirits of those who remained in the land to till the soil and pay their taxes so that the Babylonian rule would be a profitable one. The prophet Jeremiah, who had always preached that the Jews should cooperate with Babylon, was even sent back to Mizpah to advise Gedaliah and encourage the people. The hope for the restoration of the Davidic dynasty dies hard among the Jews, however. Thus, the Davidic descendant, Ishmael son of Nathaniah, moved against Gedaliah, whom he saw as a Babylonian puppet.
From the perspective of the Divine Principle, Ishmael's plot was doomed from the beginning, for the Jews were already destined to pay indemnity through their exile in Babylon. If Gedaliah had been allowed to continue his program as the Jewish governor of the land, the remaining Jews could have laid a much stronger foundation for the return of the exiles. Since DP teaches that the exact moment of the Messiah's coming is not predestined, this may have made a condition for the Messiah to come shortly after the restoration of the Temple of Jerusalem, rather than 400 years later in the time of Jesus.