I am not sure the wise men were anyone’s counsel. They could just have been men who were wise that a lot of people looked to for wisdom - like elders of the community. It does not say anything other than that they were from the east. East of Jerusalem is a great amount of territory, so they truly could have come from a far. I am not sure that the wise men had a true religion with the one true God, but of course many people are God seekers and it says if you seek him, you will find him. I think the prophets did and said things so out of the box, people even from a far heard about it. They had to know the prophecies to feel the star was important. You know there are just some people who get it that seeking God is the one important thing. Surely they had to be independently wealthy to have made the trip and bring those gifts, though, you know? or they could have come on behalf of another kingdom with those gifts.