So, by way of filling in some of the gaps here, at the end of Genesis 30, Jacob asks permission from Laban to take his family and move on after many years of service. Laban hesitantly agrees and offers to pay Jacob his wages, and Jacob asks for all the spotted and speckled sheep and goats from the Laban’s herds. Typically, these “undesirables” would be in the minority, so really it’s a humble request. Nonetheless, Laban, always the swindler, verbally concedes, but secretly has his sons remove all of the blemished flock. Then he puts a three day journey between himself and his son-in-law/nephew.

Meanwhile, Jacob notices the ruse and takes steps to make up for his loss. At first it seems that he is also using superstitious methods, but later in chapter 31 he reveals that God gave him the idea in a dream. Since he is obedient, the spettled and spocked livestock increase exponentially over a six year span.