"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill - while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, 'Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:" NIV translation
While Daniel was still in prayer, Gabriel showed up with the answer. He explains that the answer was given because he was "highly esteemed" by God. If we are in Christ, then, we, too, are "highly esteemed" and God will answer our prayers. The vision that Gabriel refers to is the vision of the ram and goat (from chapter 8). We are reminded that Daniel had been very troubled about the vision and did not understand it. God's answer to his prayer was to bring understanding. This is comforting to us as well, if we realize that God does not want us wondering about the end times and so He has made it all known to us.
"'Seventy sevens are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.'" NIV translation
Gabriel begins to explain the vision by giving Daniel an overview of the time period. The "sevens" is a unit of measurement of time and here it speaks of Jewish years. This time is divided into three parts that concern the Jewish people: First, the ultimate sin of the people would occur which is the rejection of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Then there will be a time of great trouble and, finally, Jesus will return as King of Kings.
"'Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven "sevens", and sixty-two "sevens". It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two "sevens," the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler will come and destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.'" NIV translation
Gabriel now goes into more detail by explaining that from the time that the order is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the time when the Messiah will come there will be a total of 69 "sevens" (483 Jewish years). The order was given to Nehemiah by King Artaxerxes in the year 445 B.C. This 69 "sevens" is further divided into two parts which are the actual rebuilding of the temple (seven "sevens") and the coming of Christ to pay for our sins (sixty-two "sevens"). He even tells of the destruction of the city and temple that happened in the year 70 A.D.