Used of the coming Messiah (Isa. 9: 6, NRSV, REB; Isa. 9: 5, NJB) and of the Holy Spirit in John 14: 16, where RSV uses it to translate the Greek paraclete; but NRSV and REB prefer ‘advocate’—literally one who is called to stand beside the defendant in a law court. So it defines the work of the Holy Spirit as a help, as when Christians are on trial before Jewish or pagan authorities.

Among the human counsellors mentioned in the OT are Ahitophel and Hushai, who took opposite sides when Absalom rebelled against David (2 Sam. 15: 30–37).