4 and Hashem said to him, “Pass through the city, through Yerushalayim, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan because of all the abominations that are committed in it.”
va-YO-mer a-do-NAI ay-LAV a-VOR b’-TOKH ha-EER b’-TOKH y’-ru-sha-LA-im v’-hit-VEE-ta TAV al mitz-KHOT ha-a-na-SHEEM ha-ne-e-na-KHEEM v’-ha-ne-e-na-KEEM AL kol ha-TO-ay-VOT ha-na-a-SOT b’-to-KHAH
ד וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אלו [אֵלָיו] עֲבֹר בְּתוֹךְ הָעִיר בְּתוֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וְהִתְוִיתָ תָּו עַל־מִצְחוֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים הַנֶּאֱנָחִים וְהַנֶּאֱנָקִים עַל כָּל־הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת הַנַּעֲשׂוֹת בְּתוֹכָהּ׃
9:4 And put a mark on the foreheads of the men who moan and groan
Yechezkel is shown a vision of the death of the guilty in Yerushalayim. Before the executions commence, he sees a messenger in white linen mark the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over the destruction, ensuring that a righteous remnant remains. ‘To set a mark’ in Hebrew is vihitveeta tav (והתוית תו), based on which the sages explain that the mark that was made was the Hebrew letter tav (ת). Like the mark of Cain, which, according to Rashi was also a Hebrew letter, this mark is intended to save its bearers from harm.