They were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All of the people of Israel, including outsiders and citizens, were there. Israel's elders, officials and judges were also there. All of them faced the priests, who were Levites. They were carrying the ark. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim. The other half stood in front of Mount Ebal. Moses, the servant of the Lord, had earlier told them to do it. It was when he had given directions to bless the people of Israel.