Jacob was born at the same time as Esau, (had his hand wrapped around his heel) therefore he could legally say he was Esau. Gen 25:26, Jacob bought the birthright from Esau like someone would purchase a car. Esau SOLD his birthright for a bowl of lentils. Gen 25:31-34 Clearly Esau scorned his birthright! Why do some continue to make Jacob (Israel) out to be this horrible person when God was with him? Gen. 28:12-15
Genesis 25:31 - 34
KJV - 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
I wouldn't call Jacob a "horrible person." I wouldn't call Esau a bad guy. Jacob is overly ambitious to a fault. Esau lacks reverence for what can be called sacred.
What does God think of a "birthright"? Clearly, God doesn't think as much about birth order as His children does. He blesses whomever He chooses with no regard to who's the oldest.
So is birthright sacred or not? Yes, it is. But it doesn't mean you should be king or lord over your siblings. God chooses the birth order and all the rest. We have to trust Him!!
Esau said he was going to kill Jacob, his brother. Jacob never planned on killing Esau, he chose to run from him. He tried to earn forgiveness by offering Esau a gift, not realizing that Esau had already forgiven him. One thing he didn't do, he didn't try to "way lay" Esau. He didn't try to make war between his camp and Esau's. It says something about his character that I think should be acknowledged.
No, he wasn't a horrible person. But he had once been a conman and trickster. God cured him of it in a wrestling match.