'Counsel' in the Bible
Now listen to me; I will advise you, and may God be with you [to confirm my advice]. You shall represent the people before God. You shall bring their disputes and causes to Him.
In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections) [to be used for determining God’s will in a matter]. They shall be over Aaron’s heart whenever he goes before the Lord, and Aaron shall always carry the judgment (verdict, judicial decisions) of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord.
He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the Lord for him by the judgment (decision) of the Urim. At Joshua’s command the people shall go out and at his command they shall come in, he and all the congregation of Israel with him.”
Look, these [are the women who] caused the Israelites, by the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and so a plague came among the congregation of the Lord.
“For they are a nation devoid of counsel,And there is no understanding in them.
And they said to him, “Please ask of God, so that we may know whether our journey on which we are going will be successful.”
All who saw the dismembered parts said, “Nothing like this has ever happened or been seen from the day that the sons of Israel came up from the land of Egypt to this day. Consider it, take counsel, and speak [your minds]!”
Now then, all you sons of Israel, all of you, give your advice and counsel here [regarding what should be done].”
The men of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and asked of God and said, “Which of us shall take the lead to battle against the sons [tribe] of Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Judah [shall go up] first.”
Saul asked [counsel] of God, “Shall I go down after the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?” But He did not answer him that day.
David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in the past, so I will be your servant now;’ then you can thwart (make useless) the advice of Ahithophel for me.
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?”
The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man had consulted the word of God; that is how all Ahithophel’s counsel was regarded by both David and Absalom.
So Hushai said to Absalom, “Ahithophel has not given good advice this time.”
But I advise that all [the men of] Israel be summoned to you, from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south], like the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that you personally go into battle.
Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to thwart the good advice of Ahithophel, so that the Lord could bring disaster upon Absalom.
Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “This is the advice that Ahithophel gave to Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is the advice that I have given.
Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
Then she said, “In the past people used to say, ‘They will certainly ask advice at Abel,’ and so they settled the dispute.
But he ignored the advice which the elders gave him and consulted the young men who grew up with him and served him.
The king answered the people harshly and ignored the advice which the elders had given him,
and spoke to them in accordance with the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but as for me, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”
So the king took counsel [and followed bad advice] and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “It is too much for you to go [all the way] up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.”
You say (but they are only empty words) ‘I have counsel and strength for the war.’ Now on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me?
Then King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon [as advisers] while he was alive, asking, “What advice do you give me in answer to these people?”
But the king rejected the advice which the elders gave him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him [as advisers].
The king answered them harshly, for King Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elders.
He also walked in accordance with their advice, and he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram (Syria) at Ramoth-gilead. And the Arameans wounded Joram (Jehoram).
As he was talking, the king said to him, “Have we made you the king’s counselor? Stop! Why should you be put to death?” Then the prophet stopped and said, “I know that God has decided to destroy you because you have done this and have ignored my advice.”
Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent word to Joash the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come [to battle], let us face each other.”
For the king and his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month,
Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate [the feast] for another seven days; and they celebrated it another seven days with joy.
Therefore let us now make a covenant with our God to send away all the [foreign] wives and their children, in accordance with the advice of my lord and of those who tremble [in reverent obedience] at the commandment of our God; and let it be done in accordance with the Law.
Also [it is reported that] you have appointed prophets to make a proclamation concerning you in Jerusalem, saying, ‘There is a king in Judah!’ And now these things will be reported to the [Persian] king. So come now, and let us consult together.”
“He catches the [so-called] wise in their own shrewdness,And the advice of the devious is quickly thwarted.
“But [only] with Him are [perfect] wisdom and might;He [alone] has [true] counsel and understanding.
“Do you hear the secret counsel of God,And do you limit [the possession of] wisdom to yourself?
“The vigorous stride will be shortened,And his own counsel and the scheme [in which he trusted] will bring his downfall.
“Yet He filled their houses with good things;But the counsel of the wicked and ungodly is far from me.
As I was in the prime of my days,When the friendship and counsel of God were over my tent,
“They listened to me and waitedAnd kept silent for my counsel.
“Who is this that darkens counsel [questioning my authority and wisdom]By words without knowledge?
“[You said to me] ‘Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge?’Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered that which I did not understand,Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [following their advice and example],Nor stand in the path of sinners,Nor sit [down to rest] in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers).
The kings of the earth take their stand;And the rulers take counsel togetherAgainst the Lord and His Anointed (the Davidic King, the Messiah, the Christ), saying,
I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;Indeed, my heart (mind) instructs me in the night.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.
The Lord nullifies the counsel of the nations;He makes the thoughts and plans of the people ineffective.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,The thoughts and plans of His heart through all generations.
Hide me from the secret counsel and conspiracy of the ungodly,From the scheming of those who do wrong,
You will guide me with Your counsel,And afterward receive me to honor and glory.
Many times He rescued them;But they were rebellious in their counsel,And sank down in their wickedness.
Because they had rebelled against the precepts of GodAnd spurned the counsel of the Most High.
The wise will hear and increase their learning,And the person of understanding will acquire wise counsel and the skill [to steer his course wisely and lead others to the truth],
And you treated all my counsel as nothingAnd would not accept my reprimand,
They would not accept my counsel,And they spurned all my rebuke.
For the devious are repulsive to the Lord;But His private counsel is with the upright [those with spiritual integrity and moral courage].
“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;I am understanding, power and strength are mine.
The way of the [arrogant] fool [who rejects God’s wisdom] is right in his own eyes,But a wise and prudent man is he who listens to counsel.
Whoever despises the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself,But he who [reverently] fears and respects the commandment [of God] will be rewarded.
A scoffer [unlike a wise man] resents one who rebukes him and tries to teach him;Nor will he go to the wise [for counsel and instruction].
Without consultation and wise advice, plans are frustrated,But with many counselors they are established and succeed.
He who pays attention to the word [of God] will find good,And blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who trusts [confidently] in the Lord.
Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction,That you may be wise in the time to come.
A plan (motive, wise counsel) in the heart of a man is like water in a deep well,But a man of understanding draws it out.
Plans are established by counsel;So make war [only] with wise guidance.
There is no [human] wisdom or understandingOr counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord.
For by wise guidance you can wage your war,And in an abundance of [wise] counselors there is victory and safety.
Oil and perfume make the heart glad;So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.
She opens her mouth in [skillful and godly] wisdom,And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue [giving counsel and instruction].
I spoke with my heart, saying, “Behold, I have acquired great [human] wisdom and experience, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of [moral] wisdom and [scientific] knowledge.”
A poor yet wise youth is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction and counsel (friendly reproof, warning)—
I counsel you to keep the command of the king because of the oath before God [by which you swore loyalty to him].
“Take counsel together [against Judah], but it will come to nothing;Speak the word, but it will not stand,For God is with us (Immanuel).”
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him—The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,The Spirit of counsel and strength,The Spirit of knowledge and of the [reverential and obedient] fear of the Lord—
[Say to the ruler] “Give us advice, make a decision [for Moab, king of Judah];Cast your shadow [over us] like night in the midst of noon;Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive [to his pursuer].
“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will become exhausted within them and emptied out;And I will confuse their strategy,So that they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,And mediums and soothsayers.
The princes of Zoan are complete fools;The counsel of the Pharaoh’s wisest advisors has become stupid.How can you say to Pharaoh,“I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings?”
This also comes from the Lord of hosts,Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who [try to] deeply hide their plans from the Lord,Whose deeds are done in a dark place,And who say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”
“Woe (judgment is coming) to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord,“Who carry out a plan, but not Mine,And make an alliance [by pouring out a libation], but not of My Spirit,In order to add sin to sin;
I say, ‘Your plan and strength for the war are only empty words.’ Now in whom do you trust and on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me?
With whom did He consult and who enlightened Him?Who taught Him the path of justice and taught Him knowledgeAnd informed Him of the way of understanding?
Confirming the word of His servantAnd carrying out the plan of His messengers.It is I who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall [again] be inhabited!’And of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall [again] be built.’And I will raise up and restore her ruins.
“Declare and present your defense of idols;Indeed, let them consult together.Who announced this [rise of Cyrus and his conquests] long before it happened?Who declared it long ago?Was it not I, the Lord?And there is no other God besides Me,A [consistently and uncompromisingly] just and righteous God and a Savior;There is none except Me.
Declaring the end and the result from the beginning,And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done,Saying, ‘My purpose will be established,And I will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose,’
Calling a bird of prey from the east,From a far country, the man (Cyrus) of My purpose.Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass.I have planned it, be assured I will do it.
Then [my enemies] said, “Come and let us work out schemes against Jeremiah. Surely the law is not going to be lost to the priest [as Jeremiah predicts], nor the counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us strike him with our tongue [by making charges against him before the king], and let us ignore anything he says.”
I will pour out and nullify the counsel (plans) of [the men of] Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will make their people fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their lives; and I will give their dead bodies as food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.
great [are You] in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, to reward or repay each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds;
Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “If I tell you, will you not certainly put me to death? Even if I do give you advice, you will not listen to me.”
Concerning Edom.Thus says the Lord of hosts,“Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman?Has good counsel vanished from the intelligent and prudent?Has their wisdom decayed?
Disaster will come upon disaster and rumor will be heaped on rumor; they will seek a vision from a prophet, but the law and guidance will be lost from the priest and [wise] counsel [will cease] from the elders.
Then the Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who devise evil and give wicked advice in this city,
Therefore, O king, let my advice to you be [considered and found] acceptable; break away now from your sins and exhibit your repentance by doing what is right, and from your wickedness by showing mercy to the poor, so that [if you repent] there may possibly be a continuance of your prosperity and tranquility and a healing of your error.’
For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or [idolatrous] pillar, and without ephod or teraphim (household idols).
My people consult their [lifeless] wooden idol, and their [diviner’s] wand gives them oracles.For a spirit of prostitution has led them astray [morally and spiritually],And they have played the prostitute, withdrawing themselves from their God.
The golden calf itself will be carried to AssyriaAs tribute to King Jareb;Ephraim will be seized with shameAnd Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel [to worship the calf and separate Israel from Judah].
Yes, [you are to build a temple of the Lord, but] it is He who shall build the [ultimate] temple of the Lord, and He shall bear the honor and majesty [as the only begotten of the Father] and sit and rule on His throne. And He shall be a Priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between the two offices [Priest and King].”’
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- Advice (102 instances)
- Advise (26 instances)
- Adviser (28 instances)
- Advocate (13 instances)
- Counsel (223 instances)
- Counseling (1 instance)
- Counselling (9 instances)
- Counsellor (18 instances)
- Counselor (26 instances)