The third of David's arguments seems a bit humdrum compared to the first two, but it was not humdrum to the psalmist. It is the danger in which he found himself. He speaks about it in verses 10-12. This is the first time in the psalm in which David speaks specifically about his problem: he has enemies, and they are threatening him. He says three things about them. First, "they close up their callous hearts" (literally, "they are enclosed in their own fat"). He probably means that they are implacable. They have no mercy. Second, "their mouths speak with arrogance." David has denounced this type of speech in earlier psalms (Ps. 5:5; 10:2-13; 12:3). Third, "they have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground." He means that they are intent on his destruction.

The second of David's arguments for why God should hear and answer his prayer is expressed in verses 6-9. It concerns the character of God, in these verses particularly his covenant-keeping love. These verses plead: “…give ear to me and hear my prayer. Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…”

As far as a claim to innocence is concerned, consider God's evaluation of Job. Job was certainly not sinless. But when God called Satan's attention to his servant, his words were, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil" (Job 1:8). At the very end of the book God says that he will accept Job's prayer, because Job had not spoken folly as his comforters had (Job 42:8).

Since Psalm 17 is for God's protection and deliverance, it contains urgent appeals to God to hear the psalmist's prayer. We find these in verses 1 ("hear," "listen" and "give ear") and 6 ("give ear to me and hear my prayer"), and we could rightly add David's appeals to God to act quickly and decisively: "Show the wonders of your great love…" (v. 7); "keep me as the apple of your eye" (v. 8); "hide me in the shadow of your wings" (v. 8); and "rescue me from the wicked by your sword" (v. 13).

Commentators on psalms frequently distinguish between various types of psalms, which they call genres. A typical classification might be: hymns, laments, thanksgiving psalms, psalms of remembrance, psalms of confidence, wisdom psalms, and kingship psalms.