Today we will be looking at “the mark of Cain,” the identity of which has been the object of lots of theological speculation over the centuries. In the 1700’s and 1800’s the prominent belief was that the mark was dark skin. That argument was used to justify the slave trade as well as racial discrimination. But there is absolutely no biblical basis for such a belief, and even if that was the identity of the mark it wouldn’t had justified the mistreatment of dark skinned people, because the line of Cain was wiped out during the flood.
So what is “the mark of Cain?” We don’t know, because the Bible doesn’t tell us. But just because we can’t identify the mark doesn’t mean we can’t figure out its spiritual implications, and that’s exactly what we are going to try to do today in our study in Genesis 4.