By Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
Daniel 9 contains a prophecy that has been influential in biblical
eschatology. Unfortunately, it is a difficult prophecy to analyze.
Nevertheless, it is not impossible. As we open up this prophecy we must grasp its overarching structure.
Meredith Kline carefully demonstrates the prophecy’s strongly
covenantal cast. He notes of the material leading up to it that it is
“saturated with formulaic expressions drawn from the Mosaic treaties,
particularly from the Deuteronomic treaty” (cf. Da 9:4–6, 10–15). 
This prayer regarding covenant loyalty (hesed, 9:4) is answered
in terms of the covenantal sabbath pattern of the seventy weeks
(9:24–27), which results in the confirmation of the covenant (9:27).
Daniel 9 is the only chapter in Daniel to use God’s special covenant
name, YHWH (vv 2, 4, 10, 13, 14, 20; cf. Ge 6:2–4).
Recognizing the Seventy Weeks’ covenantal framework is crucial to its
proper interpretation, as we will see. It virtually demands a focus on
the fulfillment of covenantal redemption in Christ’s ministry.
God clearly frames the Seventy Weeks in terms of sabbatic chronology.
The first phase of the Seventy Weeks is “seven weeks,” or (literally)
“seven sevens” (Da 9:25), which results in a value of forty-nine. This
reflects the time frame leading up to the redemptively significant Year
of Jubilee (Lev 25:8ff).
The total period of “seventy sevens” is also covenantal.
Seventy represents ten seven-week periods, and therefore ten jubilees, a
perfect (the significance of 10) number of jubilees.
Therefore, the seventy sevens (weeks) appear to point to a completed
redemptive Jubilee. This appropriately points to Christ, who brings in
that ultimate Jubilee (cf. Lk 4:17–21; Isa 61:1–3; Mt 24:31), and who is
the leading character in Daniel’s prophecy. Consequently, the revealed
time frame demarcates the period in which “the Messianic redemption was
to be accomplished.” 
 Kline, “The Covenant of the Seventieth Week,” in The Law and the Prophets: Old Testament Studies in Honor of Oswald T. Allis. ed. by J. H. Skilton, 456.
 E. J. Young, “Daniel,” Eerdmans Bible Commentary, 698.