They stood inside the entrance to their tent doors while Moses approached the tent of meeting outside of the camp. Their gaze was fixed upon the back of Moses as he made his way to that first tabernacle. He was going with one purpose and that was to meet with The Lord face to face. The tent of meeting had been pitched by Moses and it was a prelude of the tent to come. It was for everyone who desired to seek the Lord (Exodus 33:7).
The location of it required a person come closer to the Lord, leaving no distance between them. I can see the cloud, the Presence of God descending upon the entrance of the tent after Moses entered while the people worship from their tent doors. It breaks my heart because I see people who were content in “knowing” about the Lord from a distance while someone else pursued His Presence on their behalf. We are not so different today.