Toward the South (kata meshmbrian). Old word from meso and hmera, midday or noon as in Acts 22:16 , the only other example in the N.T. That may be the idea here also, though "towards the South" gets support from the use of kata liba in Acts 27:12 . The same is desert (auth estin erhmo). Probably a parenthetical remark by Luke to give an idea of the way. One of the ways actually goes through a desert. Gaza itself was a strong city that resisted Alexander the Great five months. It was destroyed by the Romans after war broke out with the Jews.