The officer, second in dignity to the high priest (Ac 4:1), who had charge over the officiating priesthood and the Levites who were organized under lesser captains to guard the temple in Jerusalem and to keep order. (Lu 22:4, 52) There were 24 divisions of the Levites, which divisions served a week at a time in rotation, twice a year. Each division likely also had a captain over it, with several captains of smaller groups.
The captains were men of influence. They conspired with the chief priests in hiring Judas to betray Jesus. They brought their forces along with the priests to arrest Jesus. (Lu 22:3, 4, 52) It was the temple captain who lent official flavor to the arrest of Peter and John in the temple. (Ac 4:1, 3) On a later occasion, after Peter and some of the apostles had been released from prison by an angel, the temple captain went with his officers to bring them before the Sanhedrin in an apparently legal way without violence.—Ac 5:24-26.