289. Rabbi Yehuda opened the discussion saying: "For three things the earth is disquieted...for a slave when he becomes king" (Mishlei 30:21). We learned that there is no nation as lowly, despised and degraded before the Holy One, blessed be He, as the Egyptians. And the Holy One, blessed be He, gave them dominion because of Yisrael. "And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress" (Ibid.) is Hagar, who bore Ishmael who has done much evil to Yisrael, dominated them and oppressed them with all kinds of oppressions, and decreed against them many devastations. They dominate Yisrael to this day, and do not permit them to observe their religion. There has been no exile as hard on Yisrael as the exile of Ishmael.
290. Rabbi Yehoshua was going up to Jerusalem and, as he was traveling, he saw an Arab walking with his son. They met a Jew. THE ARAB said to his son, This is a loathsome Jew who is despised by his Master. Soil him and spit into his beard seven times, for he is of the seed of high ones - MEANING FROM ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB, yet I know that seventy nations are subjugating them! His son went and grasped the beard OF THE JEW. Rabbi Yehoshua said, Lofty one, lofty ones, MEANING THAT HE PRAYED IN THE MERIT OF THE PATRIARCHS, I decree on the high ones, MEANING ON THE ARAB AND HIS SON WHO CONSIDERED THEMSELVES HIGHER THAN THE YISRAEL, that they should descend down under. Before Rabbi Yehoshua finished his words, they were swallowed up BY THE GROUND where they stood.