"it had set a mark upon her, more intolerable to a woman’s heart than that which branded the brow of Cain"
The First Murder (1899)
Public DomainThe First Murder (1899) - Credit: Léon Bazile Perrault

In the Book of Genesis, Cain is the first son of Adam and Eve. Jealously fearing that his younger brother Abel is preferred to him, he leads him out into the wilderness and slays him. As a punishment, God condemns him to wander the earth as a fugitive for the rest of his days, a fate he fears will result in him being murdered by the first person he encounters. To safeguard him, “the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him” (Genesis 4:15). This mark, though it preserves his life, identifies him as a fratricidal sinner, a doomed man.

Cain Fleeing from the Wrath of God (The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve) (c.1805-09)
Public DomainCain Fleeing from the Wrath of God (The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve) (c.1805-09) - Credit: William Blake