After working for Laban fourteen years, Jacob was ready to establish his independence. Laban recognized that God had blessed him because of Jacob and was reluctant to let him leave. Jacob agreed to remain if Laban would allow him to take the off-colored sheep and goats for his pay, leaving the white ones for Laban.
This was agreeable to Laban, but before Jacob could remove his share of the flocks, Laban went ahead of him and removed them and gave them to his sons.
God allowed Laban’s remaining white flocks to produce more off-colored animals than white ones in order for Jacob’s flocks to increase while Laban’s flocks decreased. This was a step toward keeping His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
After a period of six years, Laban’s sons began to complain that Jacob had taken away all that was their father’s. Jacob realized that it was time for him to leave because Laban’s countenance “was not favorable toward him as before.” Jacob’s wives also felt like strangers in their father’s house.
Laban received the news three days after Jacob had fled. He pursued for seven days before coming upon Jacob. God had warned Laban in a dream not to harm Jacob.
During their confrontation, Jacob explained how he had worked twenty years for Laban. During that time, Laban had prospered, but had changed his wages numerous times. He was now ready to return home to his father’s house.
Jacob and Laban piled a heap of stones and agreed to a covenant that neither of them would cross to the other side to harm the other. Early the next morning Laban kissed his daughters and grandchildren goodbye and blessed them. He then returned home and Jacob continued toward Canaan.