Why was this even necessary? Why does god want to protect Cain?
"My punishment is more than I can bear... I will be a restless wanderer... and whoever finds me will kill me"
But the Lord... put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
Is this the bible's way of showing us that god is forgiving and merciful?
And what was the mark that was so hideous that even potential Cain-murderers would shy away from taking his life?
And, without loudspeakers, e-mail or Twitter, how did "everyone" know & recognise that THIS was the mark of the man who can't be killed?
• There's a good explanation here, including how Cain's face was turned completely black. Racist uproars ensue, yes.
• Roger Kovaciny, professional bible translator, provides a pretty convincing answer here. There was no change in skin colour, apparently.