ויקרב משה את משפטן. נִתְעַלְּמָה הֲלָכָה מִמֶּנּוּ, וְכָאן נִפְרַע עַל שֶׁנָּטַל עֲטָרָה לוֹמַר (דברים א') "וְהַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יִקְשֶׁה מִכֶּם תַּקְרִבוּן אֵלַי"; דָּ"אַ — רְאוּיָה הָיְתָה פָרָשָׁה זוֹ לְהִכָּתֵב עַל יְדֵי מֹשֶׁה, אֶלָּא שֶׁזָּכוּ בְנוֹת צְלָפְחָד וְנִכְתְּבָה עַל יָדָן (בבא בתרא קי"ט; סנהדרין ח'):
ויקרב משה את משפטן AND MOSES BROUGHT THEIR CAUSE [BEFORE THE LORD] — The law on this subject escaped him (Sanhedrin 8a). Here he received punishment because he had assumed a “crown” (he had set himself up as the supreme judge) by saying, (Deuteronomy 1:17) “And the cause that is too hard for you ye shall bring to me”. Another explanation: This chapter ought to have been written by Moses (i.e., like most laws in the Torah it should have been spoken to the people by Moses without his having waited until some incident made its promulgation necessary), but for the fact that the daughters of Zelophehad had so much merit, it was therefore written through them (it was their complaint which gave occasion for stating it) (Bava Batra 119a; Sanhedrin 8a).