This section examines three words related to counseling as a means of bringing clarity to Biblical counseling expectations. The words wisdom, counsel, and wicked were closely examined using Strong‟s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Vines Concise Dictionary of the Bible, as well as a variety of online bible dictionaries and commentaries. Additionally many different translations of the Bible were consulted. These included the New American Standard, King James Version, New International Version, New English Translation, and the New Living Translation.
The relatively obvious relationship between the words wisdom and counsel provide sound reasoning for their choice as words for the context ...view middle of the document...
Counsel in the Old and New Testament
Depending on the Biblical translation used, the word counsel appears in scripture as many as many as 275 times (Bible.org). Although eight different Hebrew words translate into the English word counsel, the most commonly used Hebrew word throughout the Old Testament is `etsah appearing in the King James Version of the scriptures on eighty eight different occasions. The word is actually derived from the slightly lesser used Hebrew word ya`ats, which literally means to “advise, counsel, consult” (Vine, 2005). In addition to the word counsel, and depending on context, ya`ats is frequently translated with English words such as advise, purposed, determined, counselor, and advice (blueletterbible.com).
Most commonly, and when used as a verb ya`ats describes the “giving of good advice” (Vine, 2005) as is the case in Numbers 24:14 where the scriptures say, “Come now, and I will advise you as to what this people will do to your people in the future” (NET). However, in spite of the fact the term generally speaks of giving good advice, the opposite is also true as can be seen in 2 Chronicles 22:3 where speaking of Ahazia, king of Judah, the scripture declares, “He followed in the footsteps of Ahab‟s dynasty, for his mother gave him evil advice” (NET).
When used as a noun, the Hebrew word most often speaks of a counselor, or one who gives advice (Vine, 2005). The counsel is generally of a political or military nature as is the case in 2 Samuel 15:12 when Absalom plotted to usurp his father‟s throne, and the scriptures say
BIBLICAL COUNSELING WORD STUDY 7
Absalom sought advice when “he sent for Ahithophel, one of David‟s counselors who lived in Giloh” (NLT). Although, as mentioned earlier, there are eight different Hebrew words that translate to the English word counsel, all eight words, as derivatives of ya`ats carry the same general meaning, that is to counsel, consult, or advise. Throughout the Old Testament the source of counsel is both human and Devine.
The word counsel appears far less frequently in the New Testament, but is used in a similar way to the Old Testament. Three different Greek words translate to the English word counsel. The word most commonly used in the New Testament is boule. The word boule comes from a root word meaning “a will” (Vines,2005). Although most often translated in English as counsel, and depending on the version and context, boule is also accurately translated in English as plan, purpose, decide, and will. As is the case with its Hebrew equivalent, boule is used throughout the New Testament to describe the counsel of man as well as the counsel of God. The counsel of man is clearly seen in Luke 23. Having witnessed the brutal murder of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilot to acquire the burial rights of his Lord because he “had not consented to the counsel and deed” (Luke 23:51 NASB) of the religious leaders involved in the murder plot. Again, the counsel of man is described...