The Jewish councils were the Sanhedrim, or supreme council of the nation, which had subordinate to it smaller tribunals (the “judgment,” perhaps, in Matthew 5:21-22) in the cities of Israel (Matthew 10:17; Mark 13:9).
In Psalm 68:27, the word “council” means simply a company of persons. (Revised King James Version marginal note, “company.”)
In ecclesiastical history, the word is used to denote an assembly of pastors or bishops for the discussion and regulation of church affairs. The first of these councils was that of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem, of which we have a detailed account in Acts 15.