What exactly did Yakov arrange with Lavan? What was Lavan supposed to remove from his flocks and what would Yakov continue to shepherd?
Rashi, Rashbam, Bechor Shor: Lavan was supposed to remove the sheep 1 and goats that contained spots or blotches 2 , as well as the sheep that were colored Chom 3 ; and Yakov would shepherd the rest of his flocks.
Tosfos ha'Shalem (31:3, citing Rashbam 4 ), Seforno: He was only supposed to remove the lambs and kids like he described, but to leave the grown-up sheep and goats, so that they should give birth to babies like themselves, which would belong to Yakov. 5
Tosfos ha'Shalem (4, citing Chatzi Menasheh, citing Ri of Orleans): He should have removed only the males.
Ohr Zaru'a (1:769): Yakov will take the animals with those appearances. Yakov's (oldest) sons will riase them, and Yakov will tend Lavan's flock and take others born with those appearances.
On the neck and skull (Rashbam).
This is not in our editions of Rashbam.
Why did Yakov not ask to receive also the Chom (reddish-brown) goats?
Rashbam (33): Because most goats are Chom.
Ramban: It is not common for goats to be Chom.
Yakov told Lavan to remove spotted and blotched sheep and goats (and also Chom sheep). Verse 33 says that Yakov requested for wages spotted and blotched goats, but only Chom sheepYakov!
Rashi (according to Mizrachi): "Kol Seh Nakud v'Talu" refers only to goats (he never said anything about spotted and blotched sheep). The word "Seh" can include sheep and goats
This explains why he instructed Lavan to remove also spotted or blotched sheep from the flock (See Sifsei Chachamim).
Why did Yakov say that he himself will pass through the flock? Lavan should remove the animals with these appearances! And his words imply that the removed animals will be his wage, and not what is born afterwards!
Ohr Zaru'a (1:769), Malbim, Ha'Emek Davar: Yakov stipulated that his wage for the future will be what is spotted or blotched, and reddish-brown sheep, both what already is 1 , and what will be born. 2
Ha'Emek Davar: This is why it says "Im Ta'aseh Li." If he receives only what will be born, Lavan is passive! A worker cannot demand to be paid in advance, nor to receive extra for working extra hard in the past. Yakov said, if you want me to remain, you must accept my conditions.
Since all such animals will be Yakov's, why did he need to separate now? Ohr Zaru'a says that it is so Yakov's sons will tend them. Malbim implies that this will help show the Hashgachah, that until now there were few such animals, and from now and onwards many will be born. Or, it is lest Lavan remove such animals, and then according to nature, such animals will not be born later, Or, it is so Yakov may do with his own flock as he desires. He would not have put peeled sticks in front of Lavan's flock had Lavan abided by the agreement. (PF)
What is Chom?
Rashi: It is reddish-brown.
Ibn Ezra, Redak: It is black. 1
Ha'Emek Davar: It is red or black. This is uncommon for sheep. Shabbos 77b says that [Stam] goats are black, and sheep are white! 2
Ramban: This cannot be, for most sheep are black, especially in the hot eastern countries! Refer to 30:32:152:3 and the note there.
Shabbos 77b: Goats go in front, before sheep, like the creation - darkness preceded light. (Clean sheep's wool is one of the white appearances of Tzara'as (Nega'im 1:1)! - PF)
Why does it say Nakud v'Talu, and later Talu v'Nakud?
Ha'Emek Davar (32,33): The former means that the animal is mostly spotted, but also has blotches. The latter means that the animal is mostly blotches, but also has white spots in some places. Verse 33 says Nakud v'Talu
Why did Yakov agree to stay with Lavan? He was punished for all his time with Lavan (Rashi 37:34)! And Yakov was not interested in all the property that he amassed there, and gave it away (refer to 46:6:1:1)!
Ha'Emek Davar: Refer to 30:25:152:2 and the note there.