One who gives advice is a counselor. Counsel is the advice that he gives.
Of the numerous Hebrew and Aramaic words used in the Scriptures to express the idea of “counsel,” the Hebrew noun ʽe·tsahʹ and the related verb ya·ʽatsʹ appear most often. Though usually rendered “counsel,” ʽe·tsahʹ has also been translated “scheme.” (Isa 8:10) In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the concept of “counsel” or “advice” as a noun is expressed by bou·leʹ and sym·bouʹli·on. Bou·leʹ is also rendered “design” (Lu 23:51), “scheme” (Ac 5:38), “express will” (Ac 13:36), and “determination” (Ac 27:42).
So the term “counsel” may also signify “will,” “purpose,” “determination,” “design,” as when Jehovah declares: “My own counsel will stand.” (Isa 46:10) It is the “counsels of the hearts,” namely, the plans, designs, purposes, or determinations, of the deep inner self that will be exposed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to render judgment. (1Co 4:5) At Ephesians 1:11, the phrase “according to the way his will counsels” (literally, “according to the counsel of the will of him”) may be understood to mean “according to the purpose, or determination, that is an expression of God’s will.” The apostle Paul said that he was free of bloodguilt because he did not hold back from teaching “all the counsel of God” (“the whole of God’s purpose,” JB; “the whole will of God,” NIV), that is, everything that is essential for salvation.—Ac 20:27.
Men known for their wisdom were valued highly as royal counselors or advisers. (See 2Sa 16:23.) Because of their position, they were on occasion offered bribes so that they would use their influence in a corrupt way. When the enemies of the Jews hired counselors, they may have done so by bribing Persians who served in that capacity.—Ezr 4:5.
No one human is the depository of all knowledge. Therefore, the person who heeds sound counsel is wise. (Pr 12:15) For one to reject the good counsel of experienced advisers, as did King Rehoboam, is the height of folly.—1Ki 12:8.
Jehovah is the possessor of wisdom in the absolute sense. He alone needs no one to counsel him. (Isa 40:13; Ro 11:34) His Son is able to act as “Wonderful Counselor,” providing guidance and direction, because he received and followed counsel from his Father and has God’s spirit. (Isa 9:6; 11:2; Joh 5:19, 30) This emphasizes that if counsel is to be beneficial, it must take Jehovah into consideration. Any advice that stands in opposition to the Most High is valueless. It is no counsel at all.—Pr 19:21; 21:30.