What does the Torah mean when it writes about Yishmael "al-P'nei Kol Echav Nafal"?
Rashi #1, Rashbam and Targum Onkelos: It means that "he dwelt (encamped) in front of all his brothers" 1 .
Targum Yonasan: "He settled in his inheritance in front of all his brothers". 2
Rashi #2: Here it writes that Yishmael fell, whereas earlier (in Pasuk 16) it writes that he dwelt? As long as Avraham lived, he dwelt (safely); once he died, he fell.
Ba'al ha'Turim: It juxtaposes the fall of Yishmael to the generations of Yitzchak - a hint that when Yishmael falls at the end of days, Mashi'ach the son of David, who descends from Yitzchak, will flourish. May it happen soon in our days!
Ha'Emek Davar: Initially, Yishmael was not a strong enough nation to conquer and expel others, just they fell upon (raided) them. Later, they increased, and dwelled in serenity; other nations feared them.