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Cain's Mark

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Topic: Cain, Mark

Yaakov from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Is there any reference - Talmudic or otherwise - that tells us what the mark was that Hashem placed upon Cain to protect him (Genesis 4:15)?

Dear Yaakov,

Here are a number of opinions from Midrashic sources:

  • Cain became a leper so people would avoid him.
  • G-d gave him a dog to guard him.
  • A horn grew out of his forehead for protection.
  • G-d engraved a letter of His Name on Cain's forehead. This would remind people that G-d commanded not to kill him.


  • Bereishet Rabbah 22:28, Tifferet Tziyon
  • Midrash Aggadah 4:15

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