What does the Pasuk mean when it writes that "Yaakov set aside the lambs"?
Rashi and Rashbam 1 : He set aside all the spotted and blotched lambs and those that were reddish-brown (born in the first two years - Rashbam) which he then placed at the head of the flock (as the Pasuk goes on to explain), 2 so that the sheep followed them and saw them constantly, until their image was implanted in their minds and when he they gave birth, they gave birth accordingly. The Rashbam points out that Yaakov did this in addition to the peeled sticks that he placed in the troughs.
Ramban #1: After separating the sheep from the goats, he placed those with marked ankles at the head of the goats, and the Akudim and Chum at the head of the sheep. 3
Ramban #2: He separated all the lambs 4 mentioned in the previous Pasuk from the rest of Lavan's sheep, by forming them into separate flocks. Ohr ha'Chayim - this was so they will see only their own kind, and all their babies will be like this, so Yaakov will keep all of them.
Ohr Zaru'a (1:769): Yaakov separated from Lavan's flock the babies born with the appearances that he was to receive.
Ha'amek Davar: Goats are normally black. Through looking at the peeled sticks, they would give birth to spotted and blotched kids, Sheep are normally white. The peeled sticks would not cause them to give birth to spotted and blotched lambs, so he made them face the Akudim and Chum among Lavan's goats.
See Ramban, who refutes this explanation.
According to Targum Yonasan, Yaakov placed one such goat at the head of each flock (see Perush Yonasan).
Ramban: According to other commentaries, Yaakov placed only the Chum at the head of the sheep, since only such lambs were his (See R. Chavel's commentary).
And he explains "Penei ha'Tzon" with reference to the aforementioned lambs (as if it had written 'Osam').
Why does the Pasuk mention brown sheep, and sheep with marked ankles; and omit sheep that were spotted and blotched?
Seforno: Because it is speaking after Lavan had unilaterally changed the conditions. 1
Ohr ha'Chayim: This heats the animals more than seeing spotted and blotched.
Malbim: Lavan did not remove the Chum and Akudim among sheep, only among the male goats.
"Yaakov separated out the lambs...." Why doesn't the verse tell us that he did the same for the goats?
Gur Aryeh #1: The verse continues, "...He set the flocks facing the ringed and the rouge ones...." Only regarding the sheep did Yaakov have to set aside both of these two characteristics; 1 as such, the beginning of the verse also refers to sheep.
Gur Aryeh #2: In fact, he did. The end of the verse, "And he set flocks of his own aside," refers to the kid goats that belonged to Yaakov. 2
Gur Aryeh: This follows the approach that Yaakov indeed received the patterned sheep, despite that he only said so explicitly regarding the goats. Refer to 30:32:3.1.
Did Yaakov set the patterned goats at the head of the flock as well?
Gur Aryeh #1: Surely, he did! The end of the verse, "And he set flocks of his own aside," refers to the patterned kid goats. 1
Gur Aryeh #2: Yaakov sent the patterned goats, which belonged to him, some distance away from Lavan's flocks. He needed to do this because any future offspring of his own animals would be his, even without any distinctive markings. He could not risk having the flocks mix, merely for the purpose of serving as a visual stimulus. Rather, our verse tells us that Yaakov used the animals born with the reverse specifications (i.e. patterned sheep, rouge goats) as a visual stimulus, at the head of Lavan's flock - as those animals belonged to Lavan anyway. 2
The verse goes out of its way only to tell us about the sheep, despite that (according to this approach) they would not belong to Yaakov.
According to Rashi, Yaakov placed his own animals at the head of Lavan's flock. But Gur Aryeh differs; Yaakov placed the animals born with the reverse specifications (and therefore belonged to Lavan) at the head of Lavan's flock, while segregating his own flocks in another location. The verse can be broken down as follows - "Yaakov separated the lambs [born with patterns, due to the sticks]. He placed the flocks [of Lavan] facing the ringed [sheep], and any rouge in Lavan's flocks [of goats]." "Yaakov set flocks of his own aside," i.e. of the patterned goats and rouge sheep, which were his by agreement.
Why does the Torah sometimes call a lamb Kesev, and sometimes Keves?
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes: "... The flocks would face the ringed ones, and any rouge ones he found among Lavan's flock." If the rouge-colored goats served a purpose as well, why doesn't the verse mention them at the outset?
Gur Aryeh #1: The rouge colored goats were few in number; as opposed to the patterned sheep which were numerous due to the sticks.
Gur Aryeh #2: The beginning of the verse comes to explain the purpose of the numerous patterned sheep that were born in the preceding verse (30:39), due to the sticks. According to the approach that such sheep would not belong to Yaakov, what did he gain? Rather, he used them as a visual stimulus.
Rashi writes: "Yaakov set aside the lambs - which were born ringed or speckled...." Why does Rashi emphasize this?
Gur Aryeh #1: According to the approach that the patterned sheep would belong to Yaakov, surely Lavan had removed all of the pre-existing patterned sheep, (along with the others mentioned in 30:35). The only patterned sheep Yaakov would receive are those which were just born.
Gur Aryeh #2: According to the approach that they would not belong to Yaakov, surely Lavan left the adult ones in the flock. Rashi singles out the newly-born patterned sheep, to emphasize that such a variation is rare, but that now many were born due to Yaakov's merits, by means of the sticks.
Rashi writes: "Yaakov separated out the lambs - that were born ringed and speckled...." Why doesn't Rashi mention the rouge-colored ones as well?
Gur Aryeh: The preceding verse (30:39) did not mention explicitly that any rouge-colored lambs were born. 1
Gur Aryeh: The rouge ones were not born miraculously as a result of the patterns on the sticks; only the patterned lambs came about due to the sticks. Also note that according to Gur Aryeh, the rouge-colored lambs belonged to Yaakov, and he segregated them (refer to 30:40:2.3:2 and the note there).
Rashi writes: "'And he set flocks of his own aside'- As I explained." What does Rashi mean?