Ezra was a priestly scribe of some import in the Jewish community in exile who was moved to bring his people back to the law. He comes to Israel in the seventh year in the reign of Artaxerxes I, 60 years after the completion of the temple. The Persian empire makes special provisions for the Jewish faith and for Ezra in particular.
As God’s people, the Jews are called to be consecrated and separated, not adulterated by people of other religions. As such, no foreign wives may be taken by the Jews, unless they change and are converted to Judaism.